A former San Bernardino Police Department detective charged with drowning his wife in their backyard Jacuzzi didn’t expect a startled witness — peering through an opening in a block wall — to thwart his cover-up, prosecutors told jurors Thursday.
Blair Christopher Hall, 51, faces a single count of murder in the June 7, 2007, death of Cristi Lynne Hall behind their Calimesa home.
Free on $1 million bail, he sat inside a Riverside courtroom wearing a polo shirt and slacks, listening to Deputy District Attorney Burke English Strunsky during opening statements call the case one of “violent betrayal.” Later, his lawyer phrased it as a tragic accident.
Cristi Hall and her husband of nearly 30 years had gone out to the backyard hot tub that weekday morning just after 6 a.m., intending to bathe as their shower was being remodeled, Strunsky said. Their 22-year-old daughter slept upstairs.
According to Strunsky, the couple was in the tub together when the defendant forcibly pushed Cristi Hall’s head under the water and held it.
“She thrashes about, she struggles,” he told jurors. “She desperately struggles to get a final breath.”
Injuries to Cristi Hall included “massive bruising” and head lacerations, the prosecutor said. She also had some of her husband’s DNA under her fingernails, which Strunsky said pointed to her fighting back.
Blair Hall eventually got out of the tub, toweled off and went inside to wake his daughter. He then returned outside and wailed at the discovery of his lifeless wife, according to the prosecutor.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Blair Christopher Hall, Burke English Strunsky, Calimesa, Cristi Lynne Hall, Lindsay Patterson, murder, Riverside County, San Bernardino Police Department, Victor C. Marshall, women | Leave a comment »