Man charged in deputy’s 1971 killing ordered held without bond

The man recently arrested in the 1971 killing of a Montgomery County, Maryland, deputy has been ordered held without bond.

Larry Smith, 71, of Little Falls, New York, recently told investigators he was responsible for the death of Special Deputy Sheriff Capt. James Tappen Hall. He now faces a charge of first-degree murder.

County detectives had reopened the cold case back in October, and police said Smith confessed when they interviewed him in New York state on Sept. 1.

Hall was shot on Oct. 23, 1971 while working security at a Rockville country club, and died days later. Authorities believe he had interrupted a burglary in progress.



Smith, who was known as Larry Becker at the time of the killing, had been interviewed by detectives in 1973 but was never labeled a suspect, police Chief Marcus Jones said last week.

According to Montgomery County police, it is the oldest cold case solved by the department to date.

Anyone with additional information in the case is asked to call police at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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