Son who shot dad gets 20-year prison term
JOEY G. DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE – After sitting in Ellis County jail more than three years, a Ferris man accused of killing his father will now be heading to prison for 20 years as part of a plea bargain offered by prosecutors.
"Yes, we did have pretrial [Monday, Feb. 8]," said Vicki McCall, the mother of Billy Hale, who his mom said shot her husband out of self-defense.
"They did not do a plea like I thought was going to happen. Billy [told] me that he will accept a plea just to get out of being in the county jail for three years."
Hales court-appointed lawyer, former Ellis County/District Attorney Mary Lou Shipley, offered the prosecutions attempt at a plea bargain, and he originally accepted, according to McCall.
In describing her son, McCall said Hale has mental illness and has repeatedly sent letters and phone calls to Sheriff Johnny Brown and Shipley informing them of her sons situation and medication needs.
Hale, who was hit with a stick by his father, Richard Hathcock, before shooting him, took a plea that will put him in prison for 20 years; Hale also waived his right to appeal.
Another charge of harassment of a public servant was also issued against Hale for pouring a cup of urine on a jail nurse, McCall said.
McCall questioned why the self-defense argument was not taken by Shipley.
"I have pictures of the stick in my house and the officer with gloves on picking up the stick and taking with him the night I got my house back," McCall stated in a series of e-mails to WFAA Channel 8 reporter Brett Shipp. "Mary Lou has this information too. The DNA on the stick is that of Billy s blood. The chief of the Ferris [Fire Department] is Richards sisters husband. Richards brother in-law whom he was in my house the whole time the investigation was going on. This would totally be a conflict of interest and a botched investigation."