• Former Watauga Co. medical examiner charged with DWI, bribing officer

    By: Dave Faherty


    WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. - A former Watauga County medical examiner was arrested after police said he was driving drunk Sunday in Boone.

    Authorities said a Boone police officer encountered an SUV sitting stationary at the intersection of King Street and Highway 105 Extension. The officer said the driver, identified as Dr. Brent Hall, appeared to be intoxicated, and also had a loaded handgun and an open bottle of tequila inside his SUV.

    According to police, Hall wouldn't get out of his vehicle and offered to pay them money to let him out of the DWI charge. 



    "He didn't obey the officer's commands and then there was a brief struggle during that process of getting him out of the car," Boone Police Lt. Chris Hatton said.

    "And at one time, he offered a bribe?" reporter Dave Faherty asked.

    "He is charged with offering a bribe and he did at some point offer a bribe to the officer," Hatton answered.

    Hall faces several other charges, including driving while impaired and carrying a firearm after consuming an impairing substance.

    Channel 9 tried to reach Hall at Pathology Associates of Boone, which has a picture of Hall on its website. Police were called to have Channel 9 removed from the property.

    Hall resigned as medical examiner in Watauga County in 2013 after the deaths of Daryl and Shirley Jenkins and 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams. All three died at the Best Western in Boone within a six-week period.

    [County medical examiner resigns after 3 deaths at Boone hotel]

    [TIMELINE: Three deaths at Boone hotel]

    State officials said they sent the results of the Jenkins' toxicology to Hall, showing they died from carbon monoxide, a week before Jeffrey and his mother checked in to the motel and were overcome by fumes. Police said they didn't receive that crucial information until two days after Jeffrey died.

    The police chief told Channel 9 at the time that officials would have been able to find the source of the carbon monoxide in the Best Western motel room before Jeffrey and his mother checked into it.

    Channel 9 checked with the state medical board and Hall is still licensed and working at the Watauga Medical Center. 

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