AUSTIN (KXAN) - Laura Hall is back in jail Monday afternoon, something herfamily and her attorney were not expecting.
Hall was convicted of helping dismember Jennifer Cave's bodyin a West Campus apartment in 2005. Prosecutors said Hall helpedconvicted murder Colton Pitonyak hide his crimes before they fledto Mexico, where they were arrested a short time later.
It was a very dramatic turn of events Monday morning, whichstarted off with Hall in good spirits. Though she said she was alittle nervous, she walked into the courtroom smiling and evenjoked with reporters.
"Are you guys as nervous as I am?" asked Hall with a chuckle asshe approached reporters outside the courtroom. "Raise your hand ifyou're nervous. Oh, is that me?"
However, the scene changed when the judge denied her lawyer'srequest that she be freed on bond and ordered her to be taken intocustody. At that point, Hall started crying, pulled her hands awayfrom the deputy trying to take her into custody and startedscreaming that she was innocent.
"She was doing really good and she had a good attitude shewasn't expecting this," said Debbie Ray, Hall's aunt. "She justbroke down she started crying."
Her family also broke down when they heard the news.
"If my daughter was guilty, I wouldn't be feeling like this,"said father Lauren Hall. "But I know my daughter's innocent."
Hall was initially sentenced to five years in prison but wasgranted a new sentencing trial last October when the court ruledthe prosecution withheld information that could have helped hercase.
Hall's lawyer had asked for a completely new trial for thetampering with evidence and hindering apprehension charges but wasdenied. That means her conviction still stands, but punishment willbe redecided.
For nearly a year, Hall has been out on a $150,000 bond and hasbeen staying with her parents and she was getting used to life backhome with her parents at the Caribbean Cowboy RV Resort near SanAntonio.
"She got her drivers license back and was working at theresort," said Loren Hall. "She's making friends, she's trying tomake the best of her life and studying for the LSAT test."
Her new sentencing trial is set for March 4, and the judge saidhe did not believe she had the right at this point to be out onbond.
Meanwhile, Cave's mother said she was "very relieved." Cave'sparents are expected to testify in Hall's upcoming trial.
"It was a tense emotional morning for everybody," said SharonSedwick, Cave's mother. "Now we're just getting ready fortrial."
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