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Tossing bag nets 2 years
Woman sentenced to prison for flinging sack containing soft drink from her vehicle into another on Interstate 95.

Date published: 1/5/2007

By KEITH EPPS

A Stafford jury yesterday recommended that a woman serve two years in prison for throwing a McDonald's bag containing an ice cold drink at another motorist on Interstate 95 last year.

Jessica Julia Hall, a 25-year-old mother of three, was convicted of throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle, a felony, stemming from a July 2 incident on Interstate 95 in Stafford. No one was injured in the incident.

A jury deliberated nearly five hours over two days before announcing its decision yesterday in Stafford Circuit Court.

Hall was also convicted of three misdemeanors stemming from the incident, which some around the courthouse have dubbed the "McMissile Case."

Hall's bond was revoked yesterday and she will be in jail at least until her formal sentencing on Feb. 21, when defense attorney Terence Patton is sure to ask a judge to reduce or suspend altogether the two years Hall is facing.

Hall, whose husband is a Marine serving in Iraq, had no prior criminal record.

According to evidence presented by prosecutor George Elsasser, Hall and other family members were on their way from North Carolina to New York when they ran into stalled traffic in the North Stafford area.

A fatal accident in Prince William was the reason for what Elsasser described as "slow and go" traffic.

Pete Ballin, a Washington man who was also heading north from North Carolina, testified that he was in the left lane going only a few miles per hour when Hall passed him on the shoulder of the highway, then cut in front of him, forcing Ballin to hit his brakes to avoid a collision.

Ballin said he got into the middle lane to get away from Hall, who he said had been driving erratically for some time. He ended up passing her again when the left lane she was in came to a stop.

Ballin said that after he returned to the left lane, Hall got onto the shoulder of the road and passed him again. This time there wasn't room for her to cut back in front of him, and Ballin said he wouldn't have let her in anyway.


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