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Saturday, May 14, 2011

[CA][ID] Murder of Cristi Lynne Hall retrial - DA: "This was a brutal, violent execution."

..."You'll be asked to determine whether the defendant [Blair Christopher Hall] is guilty of a homicide or is the victim of an unprecedented cosmic misfortune... There's no reasonable interpretation but that he decided to kill his wife [Cristi Lynne Hall]. You'll know it in your hearts and minds"... She also had a laceration on the top of her head and a laceration on the back of her head. She had five rib fractures, and bruises and other injuries on her back, hands, arms, elbow, torso and face, according to prosecutors. Blair Hall had several scratches on his body, and DNA under his wife's fingernails "definitively matched" Blair Hall's DNA, according to prosecutors... Blair Hall was a San Bernardino police officer for 12 years and briefly worked as a police chief in two Idaho towns, where corruption allegations led to his dismissal...


Valley News
Monday, May 9th, 2011
Issue 19, Volume 15.
[Excerpts] Pretrial motions are scheduled to get under way today ahead of jury selection for the retrial of of a former police detective accused of killing his wife to collect on a nearly $1 million insurance policy. Blair Christopher Hall, 52, could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 7, 2007, death of Cristi Lynne Hall. Blair Hall was first tried last May, but that trial ended in a hung jury... According to the District Attorney's Office, on the morning of the alleged murder, the defendant and Cristi Lynne were washing in the back patio hot tub of their Calimesa home -- a routine they had gotten into after remodeling work began on their master bathroom. While in the water, Hall allegedly slammed his 46-year-old wife's head into the concrete patio floor and then shoved her under water, drowning her, prosecutors said. Cristi Lynne had an $800,000 life insurance policy at the time. A witness in the first trial, Lindsay Kay Patterson, was visiting her mother's home in the 1200 block of Belle Road on the day of the alleged attack . Hall's and Patterson's mother's properties are separated by a 5-foot block wall. Patterson testified she heard a piercing scream from the Hall house and went over to look through a hole in the wall to see what was happening. The witness said she saw Hall holding his wife's head under water and ran to tell her mother, who called 911... Hall's attorneys argued the victim slipped and struck her head on the patio slab, then drowned. An autopsy revealed Cristi Lynne had rib fractures, chest abrasions and lacerations on the top and back of the head... He was working as a private investigator in 2007 when he was charged with his wife's death. [Full article here]

By Guy McCarthy
May 9, 2011
[Excerpts] The retrial of a former San Bernardino police detective accused of first-degree murder in the death of his 47-year-old wife in Calimesa resumed Monday in Riverside. Cristi Lynne Hall died of drowning in June 2007 at 1209 Belle Road in Calimesa, according to court records. She also had head lacerations and bruises on her body, a pathologist determined... Blair Hall remains free on $350,000 bail. Prosecutors contend that Blair Hall killed his wife "to reap the money paid by her life insurance policies," according to court records... At 6:38 a.m. June 7, 2007, paramedics were dispatched to 1209 Belle Road in Calimesa in Riverside County. A neighbor, Lindsay Patterson, called 9-1-1 and reported seeing Blair Hall holding a woman under the water of a small hot tub in the backyard of the home, according to prosecutors. Blair Hall's daughter also called 9-1-1 from 1209 Belle Road... A pathologist determined the cause of Cristi Hall's death was drowning. She also had a laceration on the top of her head and a laceration on the back of her head. She had five rib fractures, and bruises and other injuries on her back, hands, arms, elbow, torso and face, according to prosecutors. Blair Hall had several scratches on his body, and DNA under his wife's fingernails "definitively matched" Blair Hall's DNA, according to prosecutors. Blair Hall's attorneys contended during trial last year that Cristi Hall slipped, hit her head and drowned... Blair and Cristi Hall were married nearly 30 years. Blair Hall worked for the San Bernardino Police Department from 1982 to 1994, and he took medical retirement after being shot in one leg. He then worked briefly as police chief in two Idaho towns. In February 2000, Blair Hall was convicted in Idaho for misuse of public monies by a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors alleged he embezzled about $19,000 from a police fund and he was sentenced to seven years in prison... The sentence was suspended, probation was granted, and Blair Hall served one year in jail. He completed probation in 2005... Blair Hall was working as a private investigator in Yucaipa at the time of his wife's death... [Full article here]

Valley News
Paul Young
Friday, May 13th, 2011
Issue 19, Volume 15.
[Excerpts] A former police detective killed his wife of nearly 29 years by forcibly drowning her in what a prosecutor described today as a "brutal, violent execution," but the defendant's attorney argued the woman's death was a "tragic accident." During opening statements in the retrial of Blair Christopher Hall, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky alleged the 52-year- old ex-lawman plotted and carried out the murder of Cristi Lynne Hall in the backyard hot tub of their Calimesa home... "You'll be asked to determine whether the defendant is guilty of a homicide or is the victim of an unprecedented cosmic misfortune... There's no reasonable interpretation but that he decided to kill his wife. You'll know it in your hearts and minds... The defendant overpowers her, slams her head twice into the cement edge of the hot tub, causing two deep lacerations... She fights back, but she's no match for this 250-pound man. He pins her elbows and hands behind her and plunges her underwater. She lets out a desperate, primal scream, but the defendant continues his relentless assault." Strunsky told jurors that Hall kept the woman submerged, showing "no mercy in the quest to end her life." After making sure she was dead, the defendant sat back in the hot tub and pretended to be relaxed, Strunsky said, referring to a statement by the prosecution's key witness -- then-24-year-old Lindsay Kay Patterson. The U.S. Navy communications specialist was visiting her mother, whose house abutted the Hall property in the 1200 block of Belle Road. According to Strunsky, Patterson had heard the victim scream and went over to look through a hole in the 6-foot block wall separating the two homes. Initially, Patterson saw Hall with his hand on his wife's back and head, giving the impression that "something kinky was going on," Strunsky said. But after the witness turned away, she feared there was a more sinister reason for the way the neighbors were positioned, prompting her to look again, at which point she saw only the woman leaning back in the water. Believing the woman was being drowned, Patterson called 911, telling a dispatcher, "I saw a man holding a woman's head under water." In the meantime, Hall walked into his house and awoke his teenage daughter Courtney, purportedly to make sure she would be ready when the contractor arrived to work on the bathroom -- but really to have an alibi during the discovery of his drowned wife, according to Strunsky... Strunsky said an autopsy revealed "massive" petechial hemorrhaging in the victim's eyes and mouth, cuts on her head and bruises on her arms. She also had her husband's skin under her fingernails, according to the prosecutor, who said the evidence left no doubt about what happened to the 46-year-old wife and mother. "This was a brutal, violent execution," he said. Defense attorney Steve Harmon told jurors the prosecution's conclusions were wrong. "It's not murder; it's a tragic accident"... According to the attorney, the prosecution's principal witness, Patterson, did not see an actual attack, but instead witnessed Hall and his wife "help each other wash"... The defendant was a San Bernardino police officer for 12 years and briefly worked as a police chief in two Idaho towns, where corruption allegations led to his dismissal, according to published reports. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder accident accidental california idaho state politics]


  1. AnonymousMay 14, 2011

    Cristi Lynne Carlton Hall
    Published in San Bernardino Sun on June 12, 2007
    CRISTI LYNNE CARLTON HALL Born on November 30, 1960 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to the loving parents of Phyllis and William Carlton, Cristi grew up in Southern California with her three brothers, William Jr., Scott and Lance and one sister, Cathy. After graduating from Pacific High School in San Bernardino, she fell in love and married Blair Christopher Hall at the age of 17. Together they raised three daughters and most recently resided in Calimesa, California. While raising her family, Cristi worked hard to become a radiologic technologist and worked for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. She was well known in the community and by her co-workers for being a hardworking, outgoing, and a very family oriented individual. Her green thumb and decorative flare were hobbies that gave her great pleasure in life. Though her hobbies and career were important to her, what defined her most was the love that she had for her family. Described by her father as the "sparkplug" and by her sister as the "core" of thefamily, her presence is simply irreplaceable. Her smile could brighten anyone's day her laughter was contagious, and her effervescence made any ordinary event or story extraordinary. On any day, one could expect her to be beautifying her home and garden or traveling with her husband to support any of their daughter's many events. The relationship she had with her husband and daughters was like no other. She was her family 's best friend. A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend, she was the best of all of them. The lives of many changed on June 7, 2007, when Cristi Lynne went onto continue her watch over us from Heaven. She is survived by her husband, Blair Christopher, her three daughters, Courtney, Briana, and Ashtin, and an infinite number of family and friends. The memory and celebration of Cristi's life will be held on Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 4:00pm, at Montecito Memorial in Colton. A g athering will follow at the SunLakes South Clubhouse on Birdie Drive in Banning. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions for the Hall daughters can be made in care of Phyllis Carlton at 1697 Fairway Oaks Ave., Banning, CA 92220.

  2. Former Police Chief Sentenced to 25 Years Behind Bars
    The Valley News
    Thursday, July 21st, 2011
    Issue 29, Volume 15.
    Paul Young
    Special to the Valley News

    RIVERSIDE - An ex-cop who drowned his wife in their back patio hot tub was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison while continuing to proclaim his innocence. Blair Christopher Hall, 52, insists the June 7, 2007, death of his wife, Cristi Lynne, was a "tragic accident." -- "Cristi was my lover, my wife and my best friend, and I miss her terribly," Hall told Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger, reading from a prepared statement. "I never hurt Cristi. As much as I wish and know I shouldn't be sentenced here today, the worst day of my life has already happened. That was June 7, 2007." The defendant's three daughters -- Courtney, 26, Briana, 25, and Ashtin, 23 -- never wavered in their support for their father...

  3. Ex-Cop Gets 25 Years To Life For Drowning Wife In Their Hot Tub
    July 22, 2011 4:15 PM
    [Excerpts] A former cop convicted in the drowning death of his wife, continued to proclaim his innocence Friday as he was sentenced to 25 years to life... “This jury was able to see the truth,” Deputy District Attorney Burke Strunsky said during the sentencing hearing. “They saw through his lies and looked at the evidence, which was tested and argued.” The prosecutor read a brief statement from Cristi Lynne’s brother, Billy Carlton, who described the pain he and his brother feel over the loss of their sister as “unforgivable.” --“But it could never equal the suffering my sister must have gone through at the hands of Chris Hall,” Carlton said. “She died a horrible death. Chris Hall deserves no leniency”... Strunsky told jurors that Hall grabbed his wife, slammed her head twice into the cement edge of the hot tub, “causing two deep lacerations,” then pinned her elbows and hands behind her back and plunged her underwater. He said she managed to let out a scream, which was heard by her neighbor, Lindsay Kay Patterson. Patterson testified that she peered through a hole in the 6-foot block wall separating the two properties. She said that Hall had one hand on his wife’s back and another on her head, with the victim appearing to be face-down in the water in her bathing suit. Patterson turned away, initially believing the couple were engaged in a sex act, but a moment later looked again to make certain no one was in distress. The witness said that the second time she looked through the hole, she saw the defendant leaning back in the water, seemingly relaxed. His wife was not in sight. Hall dragged his wife’s dead body out of the Jacuzzi a few minutes later.... Dr. Mark Scott McCormick, a county forensic pathologist, testified that the “constellation of injuries” gave every indication of foul play, pointing to the hemorrhaging in the victim’s eyes and mouth as well as the lacerations, abrasions and contusions on her head, face and arms. The defendant was a San Bernardino police officer for 12 years before taking medical retirement. He was later hired to work as a police chief in two Idaho towns but was terminated and later convicted of embezzling... [Full article here]

  4. I just watched this episode on Dateline and i have a major concern about the testimony of Lindsey Patterson. Ms. Patterson state that she viewed Mr. Hall hold Mrs. Hall underwater on her first view of the spa. The next two views of the spa she only saw Mr. Hall in the spa. Prosecution offered expert evidence to why you couldnt see Mrs. Hall floating in the spa. My question is how could Ms. Patterson claim she saw Mr. Hall hold Mrs. underwater when prosecution offers evidence that Mrs. Hall couldnt be seen floatin in the spa?? Do you see what am Im trying to say or do i need to explain further? Please contact me at my email at to discuss. Id like to pass this information on to Mr. Hall's defense team of to the family of Mr. Hall. Thanks

    1. AnonymousMay 20, 2013

      You've completely misunderstood. And even if NOBODY had witnessed anything, how to explain the severe injuries on Mrs. Hall (5 broken ribs, numerous lacerations, petechial hemorrhaging), the deep scratches on his body, and his DNA under her fingernails? They mentioned none of this on Dateline because they wanted to ratchet up the suspense. If they included it, there wouldn't have been much a show because it would have been obvious just how guilty this psychopath is. Hope he dies in prison.

  5. His DNA was under her fingernails and her arms were injured consistent with being held behind her back. He's a sociopath. I hope the police have investigated whether he was cheating on her behind her back.

  6. Chris Hall is a sociopath and if he weren't such a selfish person he would admit what he did to his daughters. They think their mother accidentally died, which the evidence shows is completely impossible. He clearly took her life in a brutal and tragic manner. I wonder how confused, frightened and betrayed Christie must have felt when Chris was attacking her? The daughters lost their beloved mother at the hands if the man they're defending. They keep repeating how well they knew their parents but that's such a naive position to take. We can know those close to us but we can never know someone 100%. A "slip" into the hot tub DOES NOT cause the amount of trauma she had on her body. Period. Chris Hall is a manipulative, sick liar. The daughters need to look at the facts and stop being victims to this mans con.

  7. status of his appeal?

  8. Its sick I feel for this man and his family. A neighboring county coroner testified that he would have ruled it an accidental death. What a shame, If only she would have fallen a few miles away this poor man wouldn't be in jail. Lets just hope that this doesn't happen to any of us because it can.

  9. REDICULOUS I only feel strongly about this because I almost drowned in a pool once the same way. I fell in, busted my head open and in a panic trying to get out fell again giving myself a black eye, cracked sternum and pulling a toenail off. In the struggle it looked as if I kicked my own ass, honestly. It may seem unlikely to inexperienced people but being in the medical field AND having been in a likely scenario, it's not that far fetched. Thank GOD I am okay because there was an incident about 12 years ago when my husband and I were drinking and the police were involved for a "domestic disturbance". I am sure if I had died in my accident he would probably be in jail too because of callous people like you.

  10. WHAT A COINCIDENCE that those two last comments were sent on the same day just minutes apart. Don't be ugly. Read the whole case. Plus there was a witness. You will believe what you want due to your connection.


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