With both sides delivering statements, Cody Tyler Hall was formally sentenced to 23 years in prison Thursday morning for the murder of one person and assaults on three others.
The 30-year-old Bronston man avoided trial last month by pleading guilty to Murder, two counts of first-degree Assault, one count of third-degree Assault on a Police Officer, and one count of first-degree Wanton Endangerment in connection to a July 2017 attack which resulted in the death of 50-year-old Lilburn Scott Holbrook.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy Montgomery agreed to dismiss six other charges including first-degree Robbery, three counts of Kidnapping, Resisting Arrest, and second-degree Persistent Felony Offender. The prosecutor recommended that Hall serve 20 years for Murder, 15 years for first-degree Assault, three years for third-degree Assault and three years for Wanton Endangerment.
With Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette accepting the plea agreement, Hall's murder and first-degree assault convictions will be served concurrently to each other for a total of 20 years -- of which Hall would have to serve 85 percent before being eligible for probation since murder is a violent offense. The third-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment charges would also be concurrent to each other for a total of three years. However, that three-year sentence would be consecutive to the 20-year sentence for an overall total of 23 years.
In court on Thursday, Judge Burdette heard a statement from Holbrook's sister, Elizabeth Kaye Stephens, who spoke about waiting two years for the healing and closure process to begin on this day.
"One man's decision and actions to murder destroyed two families," Stephens said, describing the hurt her family has gone through.
Though describing Hall as a monster, Holbrook's sister also said healing that hurt could involve forgiving him. Stephens closed by quoting from a favorite song of her brother -- "Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton: "Angels come down from the heavens / Just to help us on our way / Come to teach us then they leave us / And they find some other soul to save."
Andrea Simpson, Hall's defense attorney, read a statement that he had prepared for the victims. "I am so sorry for what happened," she read. "I know that it is not enough, that no matter what I say can take away the pain I've caused to Mr. Holbrook's family or anyone else hurt by what I did -- including my own family."
Hall's statement included a wish to go back and change what had transpired that morning, even though that's not possible. "I just hope that each person who was harmed in any way by me will be able to someday find peace," it concluded.
The case stemmed from an incident beginning in the early morning hours of July 6, 2017.
According to previous reports and testimony, Hall had been staying at the Bonnie Blue Drive home of his half-sister, Ashley Coots, then 25. Along with Wilma S. Hislope, then 40, and Dylan Hislope, then 19; the group had reportedly been doing methamphetamine when Hall became paranoid and -- thinking his son (who wasn't present) was in danger -- attacked Ms. Hislope with a machete as well as his sister when she tried to intervene.
Coots and the Hislopes fled the trailer upon the arrival of Holbrook, who was armed with a revolver and reportedly trying to protect the two women, around 6:30 a.m. After seeking refuge at a neighboring residence, the witnesses heard 3-4 shots. Hall was seen shortly thereafter walking down the road carrying both the machete and gun -- threatening one neighbor who happened to be outside.
Police caught up with Hall at his grandmother's residence on Rhett Butler Drive. Though he complied with commands to drop the weapons, he rushed at officers before he was ultimately taken into custody.
In the meantime, officers securing the original scene found that Holbrook had been shot three times and suffered more than a dozen cuts to back of the head and shoulders. One cut had been severe enough to fracture his skull.
Coots and Wilma Hislope were transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, as was Hall. He was later transferred to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for lacerations which were non-life threatening and appeared to be self-inflicted, according to PCSO.
Upon his release from the hospital the night of July 6, 2017, Hall was booked into the Pulaski County Detention Center. A local grand jury indicted him in September 2017, with Judge Burdette ruling him competent to stand trial last June.