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Courtney Hall is charged with attempting to extort as much as $50,000 from a state police trooper.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
ROCKY MOUNT — A Rocky Mount man, charged with attempting to extort as much as $50,000 from a Virginia State Police trooper, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday in Franklin County General District Court.
Courtney Glenn Hall, 26, appeared before Judge Frank Greenwalt just long enough to sign off on his decision and for Greenwalt to certify the case. It will go before a grand jury on Aug. 6, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Allen.
Hall was charged with extortion in May. A criminal complaint filed that month claimed he sent text messages to Master Trooper Tim Harris, threatening to expose the married trooper’s purported relationship with Hall’s girlfriend unless he was paid between $40,000 and $50,000.
The complaint said Harris had known the woman for several years and had given her money to pay for her education, but Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Deatherage said after the arrest that the longtime trooper doesn’t have any other known relationship with her.
A search warrant filed in Franklin County Circuit Court said Harris received the texts and a nude photo of Hall’s girlfriend sent from her cellphone. She has not been charged in the case, and the warrants said Hall admitted to police that he sent Harris the texts and the photograph.
The trooper was not in the photograph that was sent, Deatherage said.
Harris reported the messages to police, and they were recovered from his phone, search warrants said. The warrants said Harris met Hall in the parking lot of a Boones Mill convenience store May 29 and gave him $5,000 in cash, with an agreement to make future payments.
When Hall accepted the money from Harris, however, police moved in and took him into custody, a search warrant said.
Allen said the investigator who handled the arrest, Virginia State Police Agent G.R. Snead, will give testimony when the case is heard by the grand jury.
Hall has remained free on $15,000 bond, court records show. He’s also due in Franklin County Circuit Court to stand trial on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm as a nonviolent felon. Those offenses stem from a January arrest.
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