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Jury recommends 5 year sentence for doctor convicted of manslaughter

It didn't take long for jurors to reach a decision.

Less than an hour after the sentencing phase began for a doctor, now convicted in his wife's death, a jury in Boyle County told a judge how long he should spend in prison for the crime.

Late Tuesday night, the jury convicted Dr. Steven Hall of second degree manslaughter.

On Wednesday morning, the same jury recommended he spend 5 years in prison for the crime.

The jury deliberated 11 hours Tuesday before coming up with its verdict.

However, the jury only needed about half an hour Wednesday to recommend a sentence.

Dr. Hall's wife, Isabel, died in May 2009 after she was hit by his pontoon boat on Herrington Lake.

There is a possibility Dr. Hall could be paroled as soon as he is officially sentenced by the judge in October.

A five year sentence is the least amount of time in prison the jury could have recommended in the case.

The penalty for second degree manslaughter is 5-10 years.

Both the defense and prosecution say they accept the decision the jury made.

"A week ago we were facing life and now the likelihood is he'll be out fairly shortly, eligible immediately, so that's a relief," Dr. Hall's attorney Steve Romines said.

"We feel like they made a ruling based upon evidence as they saw it," Commonwealth's Attorney Richie Bottoms said. "So we're very satisfied with the recommendations they made."

Romines says no matter what the judge says during formal sentencing, he plans to appeal his client's conviction. He says it will be at least 6 months before this case makes it to the appeals court.

All sides will meet again October 5 for Hall's final sentencing.


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