The prison sentence of a New York man, convicted after an incident at Hide-A-Way Tavern in April 2018, is not expected to grow any longer after entering a plea agreement on Tuesday that will included a prison sentence of three to four years for a high-speed chase in August 2018.
Jamal Hall, 41, of Troy, New York, was sentenced to serve seven years in a federal prison in July after pleading guilty in federal court to felony charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The three-to-four years in prison Hall was sentenced to serve on Tuesday, for a felony charge of reckless driving while trying to elude police and one misdemeanor count each of reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident, will be served at the same time he is serving his federal sentence.
In April 2018, Hall got into a fight with another man at Hide-A-Way Tavern in Rutland. Police said the man tried to hit Hall, and Hall pulled a .40 caliber FNH handgun in response.
While Hall fired a shot into the floor of the bar, no one was hurt.
Hall left with the gun, which he threw into a trash can outside the bar. Officers with the Rutland City Police Department took the gun into evidence. The gun was still loaded when it was found,.
Under federal law, Hall was not allowed to own a gun because he had been convicted of several crimes in New York that were punishable by more than a year in prison.
State charges were filed by the office of Rose Kennedy, the state’s attorney of Rutland County, after an incident on Aug. 2, 2018.
Kennedy explained the basis of the charges during Tuesday’s hearing. She said troopers with Vermont State Police had been told July 31, 2018, by Jennifer Hughes, of Proctor, that her Honda Civic had been stolen.
“On Aug. 2, 2018, troopers saw the car traveling, first in Manchester, Vermont, then on Route 7 in the town of Mount Tabor,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy told Judge David Fenster that Trooper Jeremy Sullivan initiated a traffic stop. Hall stopped, Kennedy said, but when Sullivan got out of his cruiser to talk to Hall, Hall drove off and led police on a chase north from Danby through Wallingford.
On Tuesday, Hall admitted that there were times he drove in the wrong lane during the chase, even when there were vehicles coming toward him in the opposite lane.
According to Kennedy, Trooper Christopher Loyzelle was part of the pursuit and described in an affidavit that he saw Hall drive the Civic at speeds of up to 100 mph.
Eventually, police from Rutland City set out spikes that deflated two of Hall’s tires when he drove over them. However, Hall continued driving, running through several red lights without stopping until the car crashed into another car at the intersection of Route 7 and Allen Street.
Hall continued trying to elude capture after the crash, running across the four lanes of South Main Street.
“He got out of his car and started running. The troopers were able to stop him,” Kennedy said.
Before Fenster accepted the plea agreement, he asked Kennedy and attorney Chris Davis, who represented Hall, if they had anything they wanted the court to know.
Kennedy said it was important to the state that Hall plead guilty to at least one felony charge but pointed out Hall was already serving a federal prison sentence.
Davis said the fact that the state charges involved an incident after the one during which Hall possessed a gun was causing complications for his client.
“We’re happy to be able to resolve it. It was a process to get him over here to do that. I know, in speaking with Mr. Hall, clearly this was a series of colossally bad decisions borne out of panic in the moment,” he said.
Hall said he “would like to apologize to the court for (his) actions.”