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Police make arrest in 51-year-old chilly case homicide of Maryland deputy sheriff


Maryland police stated Wednesday that detectives cracked the 51-year-old cold case murder of a fellow officer.

Larry David Smith, also called Larry David Becker, was arrested final week for the slaying of Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff James Tappen Hall in 1971.

“The homicide of Special Deputy Sheriff Captain James Tappen Hall was the one and oldest unsolved murder of legislation enforcement officer in Montgomery County,” Chief Marcus Jones said at a press convention. “This brings an incredible sense of reduction.”

Hall was working part-time safety for the Manor Country Club in Oct. of 1971 when he discovered a doable residential housebreaking in progress.

The 53-year-old officer was found within the membership’s car parking zone mendacity face down with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital however succumbed to his accidents three days later.

Police have been unable to trace down Hall’s killer and the case went chilly till investigators determined to crack it open on the 50-year anniversary of the homicide in 2021.

Special Deputy Sheriff Capt. James Hall was murdered in 1971 at age 53.
Montgomery County Police Department through AP
James Hall and his wife cut a cake.

Hall’s homicide was the oldest unsolved murder in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Police Department through AP

Detectives reexamined previous information and witness interviews till they narrowed the search all the way down to Smith, who had been interviewed in 1973 however by no means labeled a suspect.

Officers stated Smith took the chance to ditch the identify Becker and transfer to Little Falls, New York, the place he’s been dwelling for over 45 years.

Smith was interviewed on Sept. 1 and admitted to the homicide. He was arrested later that day.

Larry David Smith mugshot.
Larry David Smith was interviewed by police in 1973, however by no means named as a suspect.
Montgomery County Police Department through AP
Larry David Smith mugshot.
Smith moved to Little Falls in New York and adjusted his identify.
Montgomery County Police Department through AP

“We’re so blissful,” Hall’s daughter Caroline stated. “I simply knew anyone was on the market. And I don’t need anyone to neglect; in case you are lacking a liked one, if anyone has been harm, please don’t surrender. please hold after. the police don’t surrender.”

“I by no means thought this case can be solved. It has been. And anyone on the market that wishes to be dangerous, simply keep in mind that,” her brother Melvine, a retired police officer, added.

The investigation is ongoing.

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