51 years later: Montgomery Co. police announce arrest in deputy sheriff’s killing


Police in Montgomery County say they have closed one of the oldest cold cases in the county, arresting the man they say is responsible for the killing of a deputy sheriff more than 50 years ago.

Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, say they have closed one of the oldest cold cases in the county, arresting the man they say is responsible for the killing of a deputy sheriff more than 50 years ago.

Larry David Smith was arrested in New York on Sept. 1 and has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Montgomery County Special Deputy Sheriff Capt. James Tappen Hall.



During a news conference Wednesday, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said Smith, who also went by the last name Becker, confessed to the killing in an interview last week with cold case detectives who had decided to take another look at the case.

Hall, 53, was found shot in the back of the head in the parking lot of the Manor Country Club in Rockville, where he was working part-time security as a side job. It was a Saturday night in October 1971. Hall was taken to the hospital but died three days later.

Family members of the slain Montgomery County Special Deputy Sheriff Captain James Tappen Hall at a news conference Sept. 7, 2022, to announce an arrest of a suspect in Hall’s killing. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

Investigators believe Hall interrupted a burglary before he was shot.

Officials said Hall’s was the only unsolved homicide of a law enforcement officer in Montgomery County and is believed to be one of the oldest cold cases in the county.

The break in the case came after cold case detectives Katie Leggett and Lisa Killen reopened the investigation last October — marking the 50th anniversary of Hall’s killing. The detectives combed through case files and recordings and interviewed witnesses. They eventually zeroed in on Smith, who at the time of the shooting went by the name Larry David Becker, and had been interviewed by detectives in 1973 but had not been labeled a suspect, the police chief said.

The detectives interviewed Smith in Little Falls, New York, on Sept. 1 where he admitted shooting Hall, police said.

Smith, who has waived extradition, is expected to return to Maryland by the end of the week.

This story will be updated.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.





Source link

Comments are closed.