Opening arguments begin for Genene Hall trial in Jackson Co.

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:15 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The first official day of the trial of Genene Hall, a former Jackson County Tax Collectors Office employee, took place Tuesday. Hall is being charged with Grand Theft over $100,000, one count of Scheme to Defraud and 125 counts of Forgery.

Both the State Attorney, Glenn Hess, as well as Defense Attorney Kris Dunn shared their opening arguments with the nine jurors. In his opening argument, Hess accused Hall of stealing money in $225 increments while registering vehicle tags between 2013 and 2016. According to Hess, well over $100,000 was stolen.

The check was for $1,000 and the transaction was only $775, that is a fraudulent transaction,” Hess said. “He started going through them one after another after another after another, and they were all fraudulent.”

Dunn then told the jury Hall did not partake in these crimes, but instead attempted to turn in her fellow employee, Roberta Cotton. However, Cotton has already pleaded guilty to these charges, and agreed to testify against Hall later in the trial. Cotton is serving four years in jail and five years probation.

“You’ll hear that Miss Hall did the right thing by notifying her elected boss, Miss Sherry Brown,” Dunn said.

After opening arguments, two witnesses took the stand - Don Roark, a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles employee, and Bryan Davis, a former investigator for the Florida Highway Patrol. Both testified to how the investigation into Hall and the Sneads branch of the Jackson County Tax Collectors Office began.

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