Ohio man charged with murder in Uber driver’s shooting in alleged scam

Posted at 3:34 PM, April 16, 2024 and last updated 11:29 AM, April 17, 2024

SOUTH CHARLESTON, Ohio (Court TV) — An 81-year-old Ohio man faces murder charges for the fatal shooting of an Uber driver who investigators say was sent to his home by scammers demanding money from him.

William Brock turned himself in to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on April 10 and pleaded not guilty in municipal court to one murder count in Lo-Letha Hall’s death. On April 15, a grand jury indicted Brock on five new counts including murder, felonious assault and kidnapping. He has yet to enter a plea to the new charges. The attorney who accompanied Brock when he turned himself in did not respond to Court TV’s requests for comment.

A dashboard camera in Hall’s car captured the tense moments leading up to the alleged shooting, drawing nationwide attention to the incident. Investigators said it showed that Hall never threatened or demanded anything from Brock other than to ask about the package she was sent to retrieve.

william brock points gun at loletha hall

In this image from dashcam video, William Brock points a gun at Uber driver Lo-Letha Hall, who authorities say was sent to Brock’s home to retrieve a package in a scam call. (Clark County, Ohio Sheriff’s Department)

Brock called 911 the morning of March 25, saying he shot a woman who was trying to rob him. First responders found 61-year-old Hall lying in the driveway of Brock’s South Charleston with four gunshot wounds to her leg and upper body, according to a Clark County Sheriff’s Office incident report. Hall died after being transported to a hospital.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation revealed Brock and Hall were both caught up in the scam – Brock for his cash and Hall as the unwitting courier. Brock’s decision to take matters into his hands made his actions criminal, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Uber said the account of the individual who ordered the trip sending Hall to Brock’s house for a package pickup was banned. The phone number associated with the Uber account was traced to Bell Mobility in Canada, according to the incident report, and investigators are working with the FBI and Uber to locate those associated with the account.

“Due to there being no active threat presented by Ms. Hall at any time during the encounter, and Mr. Brock’s failure to contact authorities for assistance while brandishing a firearm, during which he fired at and struck Ms. Hall multiple times, he was arrested and charged with Murder,” the sheriff’s office said.

Brock told investigators an unknown man called him multiple times that morning threatening to kill him and his family if he didn’t pay a $12,000 “ransom” to get Brock’s nephew out of jail. Inside Brock’s home, officers found an envelope stuffed with $12,050 in cash, a notepad with a case number and court appearance details jotted down, and “Black Acura Driver Leotha” written in the bottom corner.

Brock’s nephew was not in jail, Clark County Det. Brian Melchi told Court TV, saying the “ransom” tale was part of the scam.

Hall’s dashcam footage proved critical to the investigation. According to the police incident report, Hall can be heard on the video talking to and texting the Uber user who sent her to Brock’s house, reading what sounds like instructions on her phone, and remarking that no one appears to be home.

After sitting in her car for about 30 minutes, the video shows her leaving the vehicle and returning into the camera’s view a few minutes later. Brock is following her with a gun pointed at her as Hall tries to reenter her car.

“Stop, stop or I’ll call 911,” Hall tells Brock. “No, you’re not leaving,” he responds and demands her phone.

Loud pops resembling gunshots follow and Hall screams for help. “I’ll shoot the other leg,” Brock is heard saying off camera.

“I’m here to pick up a package,” Hall says as they pair reenter the camera’s view. “Yeah, I know what you’re after,” Brock says.

More pops resembling gunshots go off, followed by what sounds like more screams from Hall.

“I’ll shoot you in the head,” Brock warns. “Who do you work for?”

“Please don’t,” Hall cries. “Uber.”

More gunshots followed by Hall’s wails and pleas for Brock to stop shooting.

At some point, Brock called 911. Brock is heard on the call telling Hall that help is on the way. Brock told the dispatcher about the threats, saying the caller claimed to be in Springfield, but Brock didn’t believe him.

Investigators said they eventually spoke with Hall’s son, who lives out of state. He told them his mother started driving for Uber 10 years ago after being furloughed from her job. She lived in Columbus with her boyfriend, her son told investigators.

“Although Letha enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends, she felt most fulfilled gardening, fishing, and cooking. She was an incredible cook who put her heart and soul into every dish and was known for her delicious buttery pound cakes,” her obituary says.

Brock is expected to enter a plea to the charges in the indictment sometime this week.