JOPLIN (AP) - A retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who had been charged with child molestation has been ordered to serve two years of probation after agreeing to a plea deal.
The Joplin Globe reports that 71-year-old James "J.D." Hall, of Neosho, was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree child molestation and misdemeanor assault.
But Hall avoided trial by accepting a plea offer Monday from the Missouri attorney general's office. As part of the deal, Hall pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor assault and to a misdemeanor offense of child endangerment rather than the felony charge of child molestation.
The attorney general's office was prosecuting the case because Hall had a working relationship with the Newton County prosecutor's office over the years.