CHICAGO (CBS) — Golden Gloves boxer Ivry Hall defied the odds, survived growing up in a tough neighborhood, graduated as valedictorian and went off to college, but now he is charged with murder in Alabama.
He turned himself in to police in Alabama on Friday after talking to Father Michael Pfleger at Saint Sabina in Chicago. Pfleger supported Hall and wanted him to succeed, so news of the murder charge came as a shock to him and everyone at the church.
Hall’s life was featured in a 2018 documentary, and he opened up about his struggles and his life growing upon the South Side. He turned to boxing as an escape and Saint Sabina Church for help.
“He lost his mother when he was very young, later lost his father” Pfleger said. “He was homeless on the streets surviving out on the streets, but he always had a determination to wanting to do better.”
Pfleger said Hall turned his life around and described him as a walking miracle. He gave up the street life, graduated from Tilden High School as a valedictorian and got a scholarship to Alabama State University.
“We try to be family to him to help him and support him, wrap our arms around him and do what we do here with all sorts of young brothers and sisters all the time and try to be there to help him succeed.”
Pfleger said Hall was home in Chicago two weeks ago. The two met and talked at the church. He soon found out that Montgomery police in Alabama wanted to question Hall about a murder, and he arranged for Hall to turn himself in last Friday.
“First of all, my prayers are for the family who lost their son, their brother, a friend of people down at Alabama State. That’s tragedy,” Pfleger said. “Now my prayers are also for Ivry. We need to find out what happened.”
Hall is accused of killing 22-year-old Adam Dowdell, who was also a student at ASU. He was re ported missing on Sept. 8. His body was found near campus last Monday. Investigators said Dowdell had been shot. The motive is still unknown.
“I’m shocked,” said Pfleger. “I’m hurt. My heart is broken on this because again here’s the scenario — a young man is dead. Another young man is in jail.”
Hall is charged with one count of murder. He is being held in the Montgomery County Jail in Alabama. His bond is set at $250,000.