Woman involved in West Campus murder, dismemberment, out of prison


Highlights

Laura Hall was sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the 2005 killing of Jennifer Cave.

Prosecutors said Hall helped Colton Pitonyak dismember Cave’s body.

Hall said she did not help dismember Cave’s body but Pitonyak testified to the contrary.

A former University of Texas student who was convicted for her role in the 2005 killing and dismemberment of 21-year-old Jennifer Cave was released from prison Thursday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Laura Hall, 34, was released from prison in Gatesville at 10:30 a.m.

Hall was convicted in 2007 for hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence after prosecutors said she helped Colton Pitonyak, also a former UT student, dismember Cave’s body in an attempted cover-up before driving him to Mexico.

Hall had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the murder. Now that she has been released, she will be under mandatory supervision until August, the Department of Criminal Justice said.

Cave, who was an Austin legal assistant, was found in Pitonyak’s bathtub in his West Campus apartment on Aug. 18, 2005. Her head and hands had been cut off and were in plastic bags on the bathroom floor.

Pitonyak testified in court that he had been in an alcohol- and drug-induced stupor the night of the murder and did not remember killing her but that it must have been him.

He was convicted in 2007 of the murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Hall maintained her innocence for her part in the crime, saying she was in Pitonyak’s home the night of the murder but did not help dismember the body and did not call police because she was afraid of Pitonyak.

Pitonyak testified to the contrary, saying she had come over the morning after the murder and cut up Cave’s body.

He later requested a new trial, saying that Hall had admitted to killing Cave in a jailhouse confession.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2015 denied the request. He has since filed another appeal disputing the timeline of the murder.



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