Berry Hall shot and killed Lisa and Alan Tackett and made orphans of those children,” said Brent Turner during his opening remarks.
The commonwealth is seeking the death penalty for the 2008 double murder of Lisa and Alan Tackett. Hall is also charged with four counts of wanton endangerment for the couples four children who were in the home as Hall allegedly shot and killed their parents.
Turner said that the Tacketts were initially friendly with Berry Hall and his family, though the relationship deteriorated over the years between the two families. There were frequent arguments, and the occasional involvement of law enforcement.
Turner said that on the day of the shooting, the argument began over Hall’s wife, shooing the Tackett’s dog off their porch. Lisa Tackett and Charlotte Collins stood arguing back and forth while, according to testimony from Collins, and each of Halls children, Berry Hall sat calmly on the living room sofa, watching TV, and eating hot dogs.
As the arguing died down, Collins says she saw Hall go upstairs to his room. Moments later, shots rang out.
“He zeroed in that scope on Lisa and squeezed the trigger,” said Turner. According to Turner, the first shot struck Lisa Tackett in the chest, broke ribs, and tore through her liver and stomach. “She bled to death on the inside.”
According to testimony given by Tony Lee Hall, Berry’s son, Alan Tackett emerged from the house screaming, “Oh god, Lisa they shot you.”
Turner says that in rapid succession, Hall took aim on Alan Tackett and fired one round into his leg which caused him to bend over clutching his leg in pain. Then, zeroed his scope in again, and fired a second shot into his Alan Tackett’s head.
Berry’s other son Matthew, testified that he went upstairs after the shots were fired to find his father standing near the window, holding a gun. When Matthew went to take the gun away from Hall, he says his father made a statement saying for him not to touch it, not getting his finger prints on the weapon.
During their opening remarks, Defense Attorney Steve Goble said that the months and years leading up to the shooting exposed a man suffering from mental illness, and that the shooting was the result of years of depression, anxiety, and a family history of mental illness. According to Goble, eleven of Halls twelve siblings suffer from some form of mental illness.
Goble describe Hall as a self made man, with an IQ in the 70’s, who made a living with his hands. “He was the classic jack of all trades,” said Goble.
They say that in the last few years, Hall had been laid off several times, and that the stress from not having a job, and seeing his own children support him saw his mental condition worsen. Testimony from his children and ex-wife confirms that Hall was taking prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety or “nerve” pills. Goble says those drugs changed Hall from the outgoing person he was. Matthew Hall testified that as the depression worsened, Hall slept in, seldom left the house, and would often take his meals and go upstairs to eat in his bedroom.
The defense attorneys say that on the day Lisa and Alan Tackett were shot, “Berry lost his grip on reality,” and that after the shooting Hall sat in the back of the Kentucky State Police cruiser answering questions. The defense says he told the trooper, “I should have been locked up in mental institution,” as he sobbed banging his head against the door.
Hall is represented by Will Collins, Steve Goble, and Jim Gibson.
The trial continues today in Floyd County Circuit Court as the prosecution continues to call its witnesses.