Bainbridge Community Still Hurting After Brutal Home Invasion

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Bainbridge, GA -- May 8. 2012 --

"This is a place where you can raise your children and retire, and the defendant I think changed the outlook of a lot of citizens," said prosecuting District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

Eric Hall's guilty plea and sentencing of 100 years in prison ensures he'll be off the streets. It does not reverse the home attack on a 78 year old woman and 92 year old man. It altered their lives and a community.

"I talked with the female victim afterwards and she had told me that she hoped to spend the next 3-5 years with her husband," said Mulholland.

Victim Mary Jean Harrell did not get that luxury. She suffered a broken hip during the attack and spent time in the hospital recovering. She passed away in September 2011. Mr. Harrell suffered from dementia prior to the attack and slipped into a deeper case following the home invasion. He's now in a nursing home.

How did Hall gain the Harrell's trust? A picture on Hall's cell phone of him with Harrell provides the answer. Hall previously showed up at the couple's home pretending to be interested in buying their car.

"He changed their lives forever," said friend and neighbor Michele Miller. "We used to keep our doors unlocked, my husband and son would walk the dogs and leave the doors unlocked I'd be in there by myself. But after this happened...if we even come out into the yard we lock the doors behind us."

Miller said that since the attack a neighborhood watch has been formed. Georgia authorities received help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to track down the phone with the cell phone picture of Harrell and Hall on it.


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  • by kathy Location: bainbridge on May 13, 2012 at 03:54 AM
    i knew mary jean very well she was recovering from her broken hip and they discovered cancer i was in the hospital at this time having three surgerys of my own who cares about rev jackson are all sharpion i dont are whether he is black o0r white they get paid to be ther for these things mary jean would of said take care of my husband and i will be all right i miss her very much but this world lost an angel and heaven gained one there r not many people like her she helped me with my rescues and treated me like a daughter she is truly missed by me god takes care of people revenge is my saith the lord
  • by EASY FIX on May 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM
    Come on now, a junk dealer can't see a manhole cover this crack junkie is selling him has an ownership cloud? or the words city of Quincy might be a coincidene? I'll bet if the state would casterate a few of these scrap buyers they would be able to make better decisions to purchase or not.
  • by Bill Proctology Location: Tall. on May 9, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    This is why I dont hire blacks. This is why I dont associate with blacks. I use to. But now I dont. The black race has made me this way. I've been nothing but nice to them and they trash me at every chance they get. Im done with them. It's been such a peaceful life after I cut ties with the black race. This is just one of thousands of stories that happen every week about people trusting a black man and then getting murdered.
    • reply
      by WHAT??? on May 10, 2012 at 05:56 AM in reply to Bill Proctology
      This is a stupid reason. A handful of people CANNOT account for all of one race! Black people don't use white trash as a reason to not like white people. I am white. I have MANY black friends. I also have some people I don't like, and they are black, white, and other cultures. The reason I don't like them is not because of skin tone, rather their attitude. It's people like you that cause the problems that are going on in this world.
      • reply
        by kathy on May 13, 2012 at 04:09 AM in reply to WHAT???
        very true
  • by anon Location: tally on May 9, 2012 at 01:46 PM
    I dare the news media to report the stats on black-on-white crime versus white-on-black crime. Theres no question that blacks are terrorizing whites in large numbers and whites hardly ever wrong a black person.
    • reply
      by The Facts on May 9, 2012 at 03:42 PM in reply to anon
      Not just whites but elderly, defenseless whites.
  • by WM Location: Tallahassee on May 9, 2012 at 01:38 PM
    Where wer Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson when this happened? It is all right for a young black man to beat up and cause the death of old white people. They never show up for these events. I am so sorry for this family.
    • reply
      by Tee on May 10, 2012 at 08:15 AM in reply to WM
      The reason behind Rev. Sharpton and Jackson showing up is because there is not an arrest or an arrest is made falsely against someone. Clearly there is no reason for them to be there because they guy got 100 years and the fact that there services are for black people.
  • by smh on May 9, 2012 at 09:45 AM
    it wsa a plea and its for 100 yrs. the other alternative would have been the death penalty
  • by Amy Location: Tallahassee on May 9, 2012 at 09:22 AM
    Mary Jean Harrell was my cousin and what happened to her and her husband Paul is unthinkable. They were both good christian people who were always helping people and putting others first. After Eric Hall attacked them both (breaking my cousin's hip), brutalized, and dragged them further into the house and robbed them for what little money they had on hand and a $10 cell phone. My family and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for what my family has gone through. Though they were not murdered (thank goodness!), they were separated for the duration of my dear cousin's life (she died of cancer in Sept of 2011). My family is forever thankful to D.A. Joseph Mulholland, his team did for their excellent job and to Superior Court Judge Kevin Chason in seeing that Eric Hall was punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    • reply
      by Amanda on May 10, 2012 at 05:52 AM in reply to Amy
      Thank you for explaining that. I thought that she died because of her hip having been broken. The report didn't say why she had passed. I am heart broken for your family. Prayers are sent your way.
      • reply
        by kathy on May 13, 2012 at 03:57 AM in reply to Amanda
        they do make it sound like she died from the attack but she found out after the hip replacement she had cancer
    • reply
      by kathy on May 13, 2012 at 04:07 AM in reply to Amy
      i am very sorry for your loss the world lost when we lost mary jean another light went out when there is so few i will miss her very deeply
  • by Amanda Location: LO on May 9, 2012 at 05:14 AM
    What was his purpose for hurting them? Why did he choose to attack an elderly couple. I am sorry for what this family has gone through.
  • by Mark Location: Tallahassee on May 9, 2012 at 05:00 AM
    People(and I use the term very loosely)like this should be made to volunteer for human medical testing. At least that way they might prove to be useful in some way. At least they get the opportunity to give back to society instead of constantly taking from it!
    • reply
      by Just?Me on May 9, 2012 at 06:14 AM in reply to Mark
      Fish food would be a better use. Load a plane with this type of scum, fly them 500 miles out to sea, and open the bombay doors. No one has killed anyone because they will be alive when they hit the water. After enough trips like this, we will have reduced the burden on society for their upkeep, and helped clean up the gene pool at the same time.
      • reply
        by kathy on May 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM in reply to Just?Me
        this is terrible u should be ashamed of your self u did not know her she would of never read your terrible words this is why we have people it doesnt matter what color they are i am it is what is in side that matters i will pray for u
  • by Revolting on May 9, 2012 at 04:41 AM
    The thought of providing for this thug for the rest of his life is revolting to me. It is unacceptable. Have we completely and collectively lost our minds? I propose thinking of some way to justify saddling the tax paying law abiding citizens with the care and feeding of this . . . human (don't wan to insult the animals), is lunacy. It is socially deviant thinking.
    • reply
      by it is what it is on May 9, 2012 at 04:52 AM in reply to Revolting
      Unfortunately we have made it so hard to invoke the death sentence that it is cheaper to keep them in jail for the rest of their lives. They should get one appeal with a very thorough review of the circumstances and then the death sentence needs to be carried out. Twenty years of constant appeals and lawyer maneuvering is ridiculous, and the taxpayer has to pay the slime ball lawyers.
      • reply
        by Tallahassee Resident on May 9, 2012 at 08:26 AM in reply to it is what it is
        Do you have any idea how many people have been exonerated years after sentencing for crimes they didn't commit? Hint: a lot. Keep in mind that a death sentence cannot be reversed, and as long as there's a death penalty, people _will_ be put to death for crimes they didn't commit.
        • reply
          by Just?Me on May 9, 2012 at 09:36 AM in reply to Tallahassee Resident
          There are many more repeat offenders that deserve it than there are first time accused who are later found to be innocent. Run the court punishments on a point system with every crime having a point value - the more heinous, the more points. Once you accumulate enough points you're automatically removed from existence, no appeals, no pardons. If that is not enough of a deterrent to get you to stop committing crimes, the rest of us don't want to support you any more anyway.
        • reply
          by kathy on May 13, 2012 at 04:02 AM in reply to Tallahassee Resident
          i agree this sounds like a linch mob to me what is wrong with people the romans were much more b rutal
    • reply
      by GV on May 9, 2012 at 04:56 AM in reply to Revolting
      I'd much rather my tax money go to keeping this thug off the street than to give it to a drug dealer who refuses to get a real job,or for another MLK monument.This is what tax money should be for,not for rewarding unwed women for having babies.But they should sentence him to death.
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