Share This Page

Washington Township double homicide trial set to begin

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Jury selection for the murder trial of a Ligonier man charged with killing a couple at a Washington Township home nearly two years ago will begin on Sept. 9.

Eric Hall, 30, is charged with two counts of criminal homicide for the Aug. 28, 2011 murders of Anthony Henderson and Noelle Richards.

Police said Henderson, 24, was bludgeoned with a baseball bat and then was shot to death, along with Richards, 24, of New Stanton. Henderson was serving as a caretaker for the home on Fox Road.

Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway said the trial is expected to last about eight days.

Prosecutors have said they believe Hall robbed Henderson and Richards. Henderson's wallet was found near Hall's home after the murders,

Police believe Hall and Henderson exchanged at least 11 text messages hours before the killings, according to court records.

Witnesses who testified during a preliminary hearing in late 2011 testified that Hall told them he found the bodies and hit two unidentified men with a baseball bat as he attempted to escape from the scene.

Hall's lawyer, Michael DeMatt, said in court on Monday that the defense expects to present about a day of testimony in the trial.

That defense, according to DeMatt, is that Hall was not the killer, and that other people who had traipsed through the house that night could have committed the murders.

“He (Hall) was just there and stumbled across the bodies,” DeMatt said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.