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Charges against former MSP trooper put on inactive docket

November 18, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Prosecutors on Wednesday placed charges against a former Maryland State Police trooper on the inactive docket.

John Forrester Hall, 39, of Hagerstown, had faced a kidnapping charge over an alleged June 8 incident at Robinwood Medical Center that involved the wife of another trooper. That kidnapping charge was dismissed in July.

Hall was scheduled to stand trial Wednesday in Washington County District Court on the remaining charges against him, which include attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment and two harassment charges.

Assistant State's Attorney Christopher McCormack placed those charges on the inactive docket Wednesday, on the condition there be no contact between Hall and the alleged victim.

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Judge Oliver John Cejka Jr., sitting in Washington County District Court, accepted the agreement.

McCormack said Assistant State's Attorney Leon Debes negotiated with the defense for several weeks to reach the agreement. Debes, reached later at the state's attorney's office, declined to comment about why the charges were placed on the inactive docket.

On June 11, a state police investigator was called to the home of Trooper 1st Class Gregg Lantz. Lantz's wife, Trisha Lantz, had been involved in an 18-month relationship with Hall, but she alleged that when she tried to break it off, he began harassing her, Sgt. David Bowers wrote in charging documents.

On June 8, Trisha Lantz was leaving work at Robinwood Medical Center when Hall pulled up in his father's pickup truck and told her they needed to talk, according to documents. He told her to get in his truck, and she said she got in the truck because she was afraid, documents state.

Hall became angry as they talked and said, "if he could not have what he wanted, then she was not going to get what she wanted, either," court records allege.

Trisha Lantz repeatedly told Hall to let her out of the truck and then, as Hall was driving toward the parking lot exit, she jumped out of the truck, Bowers wrote.

Hall retired from the Maryland State Police in September 2008.

Hall's attorney, Bruce Poole, said Wednesday after the hearing that his client declined to comment.

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