The murder charge facing Pleasanton resident 18-year-old Cody Hall has sparked the attention of a national media outlet, largely in part to the role Hall’s boasting on various social media about his love of fast driving and contempt for law enforcement has played in the case so far.
An Aug. 16 article posted on National Public Radio website, profiles the Hall case from the day of the fatal collision that killed 58-year-old Diana Hersevoort, to last week's court proceedings where Hall was taken into custody after the charges against him were increased from vehicular manslaughter to murder.
Hall, who appeared in court today, was known as an active user of Twitter and Instagram prior to the June 9 collision on Foothill Road in Pleasanton when police estimate that Hall had been passing a vehicle on Foothill Road at about 83 miles per hour in his silver Dodge Neon. Police believe Hall lost control of his car, striking the Hersevoorts, who had been out bicycling on their weekly Sunday ride.
[Related article: Driver in Fatal Collision Used Social Media to Talk About Speeding]
A reader sent Patch screenshots of several Instragam posts, which have the same user handle of "Codyyhall" as Hall's Twitter account. An eerie nighttime photo Foothill Road was posted on the account with the caption, "Driving my life away one hour at a time #foothillroad #nightlife."
In one of the Instagram posts, a photo of Hall's dismissed traffic ticket was posted, which showed Hall had been cited for speeding and not being in possession of his driver's license. The caption posted by user "Codyyhall" reads, "Fought my speeding to ticket 85+ on foothill road beat it bitchess." Another Instagram post on the account shows a photo taken from the driver seat showing the reflection of a police car in the rear view mirror, presumably having stopped the driver. The caption reads, "Just my luck today #hate#police."
One of the Instagram posts shows a silver Dodge Neon in an auto shop with the caption, "She's almost done#neon #srt4 #turbo #boost #16psi." Several other posts made by user Codyyhall to the account include photos of alcohol.
Hall's Twitter posts, in which he referred to his car as a “death trap" and invited his 191 followers to join him on a “death ride," especially when combined with the posts to Hall's Instagram account, have likely been what prompted the increased charge of murder in the Hall case, according to a Bay Area attorney.
Mary Ann Bird, a criminal defense lawyer, told Patch that, "Based on the information of the social media in conjunction with the extremely excessive speed on the road, it shows a specific intent to act in complete disregard for human life."
Hall remains in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. Hall's next court date is Sept. 10.
Previous Patch articles about the fatal Foothill Road collision: