Epperly’s parole is denied

Justin Griffith
Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin L. Griffith

Staff Report

Stephen Epperly will remain in prison for the death of Gina Renee Hall.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin L. Griffith reported this morning that Epperly’s request for parole had been denied.

    “I have been informed that the Virginia Parole Board denied the parole request of Stephen Epperly and he will remain an inmate with the Virginia Department of Corrections,” Griffith said. “I continually admire the fortitude that Gina Hall’s family constantly carries with them. I am very appreciative of the community involvement in maintaining the justice achieved in this case.

“A jury of his peers spoke and this community continues to carry that message forward. Our office felt privileged to be able to participate in leading a community/victim input hearing. As I have said before, and proved two weeks ago, we will be ready if and when he comes up for parole again,” Griffith continued.

This coming June 28 will mark the 44th year since the murder of Hall.

The 18-year-old Hall was last seen alive leaving the Marriott Hotel in Blacksburg in the company of Epperly. The two drove to a house on Claytor Lake where, sometime after midnight, Hall was killed by Epperly.

Six months later, in early December of 1980 Epperly was found guilty of first-degree murder, becoming the first person in Virginia to be convicted of first-degree murder in a case in which there was no body, confession or eye-witness.

Epperly, 28 at the time was sentenced to life in prison in the precedent-setting case.

As for Hall, her body to this day has not been found.