3:56 PM

Murder suspect Billy Wayne Hall made his initial court appearance today with his attorney Rita Sanders and pleaded not guilty to killing and kidnapping Freda Heyn.

He was charged in January with manufacturing a controlled substance (meth) within 2000 feet of a school.

Hall, his former sister-in-law, Paula Hall and David Epperson were charged with Heyn's death in 2006 after the woman's skull was found by hikers in the Mark Twain National Forest.

Christian County Prosecutor Ron Cleek (b.) dropped the murder charges against Billy Hall last year because of lack of evidence; Epperson turned state's evidence and had his charge reduced to tampering with evidence in exchange for his testimony.

Cleek refiled murder charges against Billy Hall when new evidence surfaced at Paula Hall's February murder trial.

Cleek says he is, "going to go after Billy Hall as prior and persistent offender....what that means is that if Hall is convicted on the drug charge he will have to serve whatever sentence he receives day for day without the possibility of probation or parole."

Hall eluded authorities from January until his capture on March 31st by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force

Billy Hall's preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 19th in Christian County.

Paula Hall was found guilty of Heyn's death and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 26th in Christian County.


Drug Charge:

https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do09N8-CR00036 - ST V BILLY W HALL