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Two Sentenced in Marshall County for Crimes Against Children

Photo by Alan Olson Randy Hall enters an Alford plea to two counts of child abuse and one count of malicious assault for shaking his child.

Two men received heavy sentences for crimes against children — one for shaking his baby, causing brain injury, the other for sexually assaulting a teenager.

Randy Lee Hall, 29 of Moundsville, entered an Alford plea to two counts of child abuse by a parent or guardian and one count of malicious assault, denying his guilt but admitting that he would likely lose at trial. Hall’s charges stemmed from earlier this year, in which he shook his infant child. When questioned by police in May, Hall had told police that he had shaken the child in order to calm it, and that he was “stressed out.”

The child’s family was present at Hall’s sentencing, and afterwards said the boy, now 7 months old, was “doing really good, considering everything,” and that his development was back on track, growth-wise. Although some milestones in mental development were delayed, family members were unable to say whether or not those were due to the child’s injury. In May, the child was said to have suffered brain bleeds and hemorrhages in both eyes.

“He’s growing like a bad weed,” one relative said of the child.

Judge Jeff Cramer sentenced Hall to eight-to-30 years in prison, with the sentences for his charges running consecutively. The first count of child abuse had its minimum sentence doubled from two to four years due to Hall’s recidivism, having been previously convicted in 2016 of grand larceny and conspiracy to commit grand larceny. A civil suit being pursued in magistrate court will continue.

Photo by Alan Olson
Matthew Hartley, 27, enters a guilty plea to six counts of sexual assault, the result of a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old.

In an unrelated matter Thursday afternoon, Matthew Hartley, 27, pleaded guilty to six counts of third-degree sexual assault. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Hartley will serve his sentences consecutively, with the sixth count being suspended, for an effective sentence of 5-to-25 years in prison, followed by two years of supervised probation, extended supervision for sex offenders for an additional 25 years afterwards, and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

According to assistant prosecutor Andrea Poling, who represented the state in both cases, Hartley had carried on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old living in Marshall County. When asked by Cramer, Hartley summarized the charges against him as having “had sexual activities with a minor.”

Attorney Michael Baum represented both defendants Thursday.

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