State seeking longer-than-normal sentence for man charged with pipe bomb, gang ties

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office is seeking a longer-than-normal sentence for a 45-year-old Alabaster man who has been charged with allegedly possessing drugs, firearms and an active pipe bomb as the suspect’s trial approaches later this spring.

Jason Hall

On Feb. 26, the DA’s office filed a “notice of intent to seek a departure and prove aggravating factors” in the case against Jason Lanier Hall, who lists an address on Fourth Avenue Northeast in Alabaster.

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested Jason Hall alongside his son, 24-year-old Demarco Hall, on April 21, 2016, and charged them with multiple felonies.

Jason Hall is facing felony counts of possession of a destructive device, first-degree receiving stolen property, possession of an illegal firearm, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Task Force members responded to Jason Hall’s house the night of April 21, 2016, after they received an anonymous tip, and made contact with the Halls. After realizing Demarco Hall was on probation for a previous felony domestic violence charge, Task Force members requested help from Office of Probation and Parole officers, and began a search of the suspect’s property.

During their search, officers allegedly discovered seven firearms Jason Hall was not allowed to have because of his criminal history, marijuana, heroin, prescription medication and cocaine. Officers also allegedly discovered materials linking the suspects with the “Gangster Disciples” street gang.

Also during their search, Hammac said officers discovered an active pipe bomb in a vehicle on the property, prompting the Task Force, the Alabaster Police Department and the Alabaster Fire Department to evacuate a 300-yard radius around the house while the Hoover Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the scene.

Hammac said the bomb squad safely detonated the bomb at the scene before allowing nearby residents to return to their homes.

The DA’s office said it is seeking a higher-than-normal sentence for Hall, claiming “the offense was committed for the benefit of, or at the discretion of, any street gang … with the specific intent to promote, further or assist in criminal activity by any street gang members.”

The DA’s office also claimed Hall’s theft crimes involved multiple victims, and said Hall “admittedly possessed narcotics for the purpose of distribution and/or sale.” Hall has five or more prior felony convictions.

If Hall is convicted of first-degree receiving stolen property, the state will seek a sentence of 20 to 99 years or life, if he is convicted of first-degree possession of marijuana, the state will seek a sentence of 15 to 99 years or life and if he is convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, the state will seek a sentence of one to 10 years.

Hall is scheduled to stand trial beginning on April 16.