NORWALK (CNS) – Former Long Beach Polytechnic High School football star and would-be University of Oregon wide receiver Jalen Hall and another young man pleaded not guilty today to charges of carrying out an armed home-invasion robbery in Norwalk.
Hall, 19, and Millard Lefenus Hill, 18, are each charged with three counts of home-invasion robbery, two counts of kidnapping to commit robbery and one count of first-degree burglary with a person present.
Hill is also charged with leading sheriff’s deputies on a chase following the break-in earlier this month. The criminal complaint alleges that Hall was armed with a semiautomatic handgun during the home invasion.
The pair face up to life in prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors and sheriff’s investigators allege Hall and Hill carried out the home-invasion robbery around 1:10 p.m. Sept. 10 in the 11800 block of 160th Street. Three people were inside the home at the time, and they were threatened and moved around the home while the thieves grabbed jewelry and other valuables, authorities said.
Deputies spotted the pair after the break-in, leading to a short pursuit, but both were apprehended a short time later. Sheriff’s officials said one of the robbery victims, who was not injured, identified property found in the car as being taken during the robbery.
Hall was a star receiver at Long Beach Poly and was considered a top-10 wide receiver recruit. He signed with the University of Oregon earlier this year, but head coach Mario Cristobal told reporters Hall attended only one spring practice before leaving for “personal reasons,” and he never returned. He was released by the team following his arrest.
Hall and Hill — who are each jailed in lieu of more than $2 million bail — are due back in a Norwalk courtroom Oct. 1, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.