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Jury Recommends Death In Satanic Slaying

March 22, 1989 GMT

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A jury has recommended a death penalty for a man who said he was under a satanic spell the night he participated in the killing of a Vietnamese immigrant.

Circuit Court Judge S. James Foxman scheduled sentencing for this afternoon for Anthony Allan Hall, who was convicted in the death of Ngoc Van Dang, 25, on July 20, 1987.

Foxman was not bound by the jury’s recommendation, and could choose a life sentence instead.

The jury convicted Hall, 25, of first-degree murder Friday and returned this week to hear evidence on mitigating and aggravating circumstances before recommending a sentence. The jury recommended the death sentence by a 7-5 vote Tuesday.

According to trial testimony, Satan worshiper Bunny Dixon, 16, and Elizabeth Rebecca Towne, 18, posed as hitchhikers on an Orlando street on the night of Dang’s murder.

Hall and Miss Towne’s boyfriend, Daniel Paul Bowen, 23, hijacked Dang’s car at gunpoint when he stopped for the women. The four had planned to use Dang’s car and money to finance a trip to Virginia to join a carnival.

The scheme, Hall testified, came from the spirit of a dead 10-year-old named David with whom Miss Dixon communicated by a Ouija board.

They robbed Dang of $120, bound and gagged him, put him in the car’s trunk and drove north of Daytona Beach, where they stopped and pulled him from the trunk.

Hall said Miss Dixon carved a large inverted cross on Dang’s chest with a butterfly knife, then he and Bowen shot the man seven times in the head, neck and torso. Miss Dixon has denied cutting the man.

Hall said he partook in the slaying because he was under Miss Dixon’s spell from a satanic ritual. He also said he was ordered by Bowen at gunpoint to shoot Dang.

Hall’s was the first of the four separate murder trials that have been set.

Defense attorney Gerard Keating tried to prove that his client was mentally disturbed and under the sway of others when he killed Dang.

State Attorney John Tanner pressed for the death penalty.