Former deputy charged with murder

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November 20, 2006

The Edgefield County coroner says an autopsy shows 54-year-old Gregory Jones was shot twice in the chest.

The murder has shocked the small town of Johnston...and even more shocking is the person behind bars.

After nearly 25 years of service, 59 year old Dwight Hall retired from law enforcement. He was respected by many as a good officer.

That's why some wonder what led to claims that this retired officer murdered a man.

Alice Freeman remembers Dwight Hall when he used to patrol the streets.

But now the person who used to enforce the law has found himself on the other side of the law--charged with murder.

It all happened at the house next door to Alice on Saturday night, when witnesses say Dwight Hall killed Gregory Jones.

"All I know, what they told me, is they shot him in the leg and he was trying to go out the back door and Greg said help me, help me," Alice said.

And witnesses say it didn't end there.

"Said he turned around like he was going out the back door and started shooting again."

Witnesses say after the shooting, Dwight Hall, the former law enforcement officer, left the house and went over to a church and started praying.

"Said when he got finished smoking a cigarette he just started praying," Alice said.

Johnston police Chief Chris Aston worked with Dwight Hall in Edgefield County. Hall worked as a police officer for the Edgefield Police Department and also worked for the Edgefield County Sheriff's Department before retiring in 2005.

Chief Aston considered him a friend.

"Yes we was friends," Chief Aston told News 12. "He was friends with a lot of law enforcement officers here."

And now the same people who worked with this retired officer found themselves arresting a friend.

"It's a shock to the community, but that still don't keep us from doing our job as professionals," Chief Aston said.

Because of his ties with law enforcement, Dwight Hall is not being held in the Edgefield County Detention Center. Instead he is being held in Saluda County.

We also learned after his retirement Dwight Hall worked for the Edgefield County Clerk of Court as a bailiff. Clerk of Court Shirley Newby tells News 12 her department does not issue guns, and the other bailiffs working for her do not carry them.