Jury convicts man of murder in 1998 death of Eagle River reporter

Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage jury on Tuesday found a man guilty of murder in the shooting death of an Eagle River reporter.

Randall Smith was convicted of first and second degree murder, as well as tampering with evidence in the Nov. 10, 1998 death of William Hall outside the Alaska Star newspaper office. Smith faces a maximum 99 years in prison.

Hall, 46, was found slumped over in his pickup truck with bullet wounds to the right side of his head.

Hall was a sports reporter at the Star.

A police officer followed footprints in fresh snow from Hall's truck to a vacant lot, where a man was changing clothes. When the officer approached the man, he ran away.

Another officer joined the chase and a short time later, police found Smith lying in the snow. When they returned to the vacant lot, police found a .22-caliber handgun, which was the same caliber weapon that Hall was shot with.

Police said Smith had served nearly 15 years in prison in Washington state after being convicted for second-degree murder.

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