Attorneys for Gabriel Hall asking Supreme Court to review sentencing

At issue is a jailhouse video taken of Hall for a comedy special that was later used by prosecutors during his trial.
KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 9:48 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Attorneys for convicted killer Gabriel Hall are now asking the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of his death sentence.

Gabriel Hall was 18 and a high school student when he attacked and murdered Edwin Shaar in College Station in 2011. Shaar’s wife was also attacked but survived.

In Hall’s 2015 trial, prosecutors showed the jury a video shot by a Comedy Central film crew that featured Hall being interviewed by comedian Jeff Ross inside the Brazos County jail. JHall’s attorneys argue that the video was taken without Hall’s attorneys knowing it at the time and the fact that it was then shared with the jury violated his constitutional rights.

An appeals court has already denied Hall’s request for a retrial.

KBTX Legal Analyst Shane Phelps says Hall’s attorneys didn’t know about the interview until after it happened and that is a significant issue.

“Nobody from the sheriff’s department or the D.A’s office ever advised the defense attorneys for Gabriel Hall that he was going to be interviewed by Jeff Ross for his special on Comedy Central. They of course would have objected like crazy. Any competent defense attorney would have,” said Phelps.

The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office asked Comedy Central not to air any of the videos they had of Hall due to the high-profile nature of the case, but prosecutors would go on to use that footage during the punishment phase of Hall’s trial where he would be sentenced to death.

Phelps believes the Supreme Court is likely to accept the case but doubts it’ll be overturned.

“It’s an unusual case on an unusual issue with unusual facts, and it’s a death penalty case and death penalty cases are usually different.”

Then-sheriff Chris Kirk said he allowed the Comedy Central crew to come into the jail as part of an incentive program to reward inmates for good behavior.