Witness: Defendant had appointment with psychiatrist day of deadly crash

Defense continues in murder trial

SAN ANTONIO -- As Frances Hall stands trial for killing her husband, her attorneys on Wednesday again called the man's mistress a liar.

It was an emotional day in the courtroom as the defense criticized the entire investigation into the deadly crash, allegedly one of road rage.

Ron Brandon, an expert called by defense attorneys, said that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office botched the investigation from the moment they arrived on the crash scene.

It's been nearly three years since Bill Hall Jr. died after crashing his Harley Davidson motorcycle in southwest Bexar County on Loop 1604.

His mistress, Bonnie Contreras, told the court that she was there driving a Range Rover, which was rear ended 15 times by Hall's wife, Frances, who was driving an Escalade.

Bill Hall Jr. followed on his motorcycle. Contreras claims that the Escalade ran into him going speeds of up to 110 miles per hour.

Earlier in the trial, the prosecution showed photos of the two vehicles with dents and scrapes. But Ron Brandon, who recreated the accident, said that the damage doesn't prove Frances Hall hit the Range Rover.

"Whatever damage you want to see on that vehicle, I don't know, Bexar County Sheriff's don't know, nobody in this courtroom knows if that damage was pre-existing. That's a big 'what if', to assume that damage or whatever you see as damage, came from this crash," said Brandon, who is an accident reconstructionist.

Contreras testified that Hall ran into the back of her husband's motorcycle. Brandon says that the motorcycle was not hit from behind, but on the side. He says it was an accident as Hall was riding among the two vehicles down the highway.

Brandon also criticized the investigation by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, saying officials mistakenly drew conclusions too early. He referred to it as an "outcome-based investigation.”

"The outcome should be at the end of the investigation, not at the beginning. You don't investigate what you already believe happened," Brandon said. "Investigate to find out what happened. This investigation, I think, went south immediately. 'Here's what we think, here's what they said, girlfriend boyfriend.' It has all the makings for TV. That's how they investigated this."

In the prosecution's rebuttal, Terri Johnson took the stand. The day before the deadly crash, Johnson said that she spoke with Frances Hall. Johnson owns TJ's Dance Factory; Hall's granddaughter took classes there.

Johnson says that Frances went up to her at the dance studio and asked if they could talk.

"She said, 'Yes, He's left me for a much younger woman. Somebody that's not even half our age… She said I don't know what I'm going to do. I've been with this man since I was 18; the only man that I've ever loved, that I've ever been with, that I've ever known.' I said, 'Maybe he'll change his mind," Johnson said.

Prosecutors asked, "What was her response to that?"

"[Frances said] ‘No. He won't. He loves her. He told me he loves her and he doesn't love me anymore. He's going to get a divorce.'...I said, 'do you need to see a psychiatrist?' And she said, 'I have an appointment tomorrow,'" Johnson testified.

Chris Castillo, the Division Chief in Records and Finance Department for the Bexar County District Clerk's Office also took the stand. Contrary to what was said in court on Tuesday, she said that there is no indication Bill Hall filed for a divorce before the accident.

"There weren't any multimillion dollar life insurance policies or anything like that. Talking about Bill's estate, you can't really separate Bill and Frances in a lot of things because they're married. They never filed for divorce or anything. So what's his is hers and what's hers is his," said defense attorney, Leigh Cutter. "Right now, Bill and Frances' two children, Nikki Hall and Justin Hall, are beneficiaries of Mr. Hall's estate."

It was also revealed Frances Hall filed a restraining order against Contreras.

Frances Hall faces murder charges and aggravated assault charges. If convicted, she could get life in prison.

Closing arguments begin on Thursday.

(© 2016 KENS)


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