Retired Lawrence Officer Dies Two Days After Warrant Issued for His Arrest

PHOTO: Eagle~Tribune
Former Lawrence Police Officer William Hale


By: Tom Duggan
UPDATED 4/16/14

The Valley Patriot has learned Wednesday afternoon that Former Officer William Hale passed away Wednesday. 

Story Posted on 4/15/14 below

An arrest warrant has been issued for former Lawrence Police Officer Billy Hale after he failed to appear in court today on the matter of his refusal to pay $70,000 in restitution and his failure to appear for a probation hearing this morning in Lawrence District Court.

Former Officer Hale admitted to forgery, uttering a false check and larceny over $250 when he took advantage of an elderly woman named Elizabeth Lacey whom he was taking care of.

From 2005 to 2007, Hale endorsed and cashed nearly twenty of Ms. Lacey’s pension checks. In 2007 Hale forged Lacey’s signature on 19 checks issued from a Sovereign Bank checking account. 

All in all, Hale was accused of stealing more than $66,000 in checks belonging to Ms. Lacey.

Hale, a retired 33 year veteran of the Lawrence Police Department is 77 years old. 

Ms.  Lacey died at age 89 on May 1, 2007. Hale’s admission came on October 4th of last year after he first tried to lay claim as the beneficiary of her will, a will that was changed shortly before she died.

an Appeals court threw out Hale’s claim to Lacey’s estate. Family members of Ms. Lacey have long contended that Hale manipulated “Aunt Betty” into changing her will and took advantage of her ailing condition to lay claim to her estate when she passed. 

Carrie Kimball of the Essex county District Attorney’s Office confirmed for the Valley Patriot this afternoon that Hale now has a warrant out for his arrest and will not be granted bail when caught.