- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - A Corvallis man could face the death penalty in the alleged kidnapping and rape of a 17-year-old mother who authorities say was forcibly injected with methamphetamine over the course of days.

Court officials said 32-year-old Byron Craig Hall pleaded not guilty during a state District Court appearance Wednesday in Ravalli County.

The Ravalli Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1CCOqAh) Hall was told by District Judge Jeffrey Langton that he could face the death penalty or imprisonment for 555 years and a fine of $450,000 if convicted.

He’s being held on $750,000 bail, and is charged with nine felony counts including aggravated kidnapping, sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated assault, child criminal endangerment and drug charges.

Hall allegedly kept the victim and her 8-month-old son prisoner in her home over five days in early February. She said he twice choked her until she passed out, injected her with methamphetamines and repeatedly raped her, according to an affidavit filed by authorities.

Hall’s attorney, public defender Thomas Bartleson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Court records said Hall met the girl at a college orientation and she invited him to her apartment. She told investigators that she mentioned Hall’s ex-girlfriend and he became extremely angry and “just snapped.”

Hall was arrested on Feb. 12 after the teenage victim confided in her child’s baby-sitter. The woman told authorities Hall threatened that if she told anyone, she would lose her child or he would kill her

Hall’s criminal history includes a 2002 felony conviction of operating an unlawful clandestine drug laboratory in Flathead County. Between 2002 and 2015, he was placed in 12 different treatment or pre-release programs in Montana, according to information provided by the Montana State Prison.

In each case, Hall committed some infraction that landed him either back in jail or prison.

He arrived in Hamilton in 2005 under the supervision of a probation officer following a one-year stint in the Montana State Prison. In February 2007, he was back in jail in Flathead County on charges of again operating a clandestine laboratory, and went on to serve additional time in prisons in Deer Lodge, Glendive and Great Falls after failing to complete several treatment programs.

In the days leading up to the alleged kidnap and rape, Hall was picked up on a probation violation on Jan. 27, 2015. He was released two days later, and arrested in the rape case Feb. 12.

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Information from: Ravalli Republic, http://www.ravallirepublic.com

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