Man Charged With Murder in Traffic Death of Arvin Educator Enters Plea

The man accused of murder in the death of long-time Arvin educator Larry Hallum has pleaded not guilty.

Marque Joaquine Qualls, 26, entered the plea on Friday to charges including first-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

Prosecutors say on February 15, 2023, Qualls drove while under the influence of alcohol and ran a red light at full speed.  He allegedly made no attempt to stop, and collided with a vehicle driven by the 79-year-old Hallum at Old River Road and White Lane.

Hallum suffered serious injuries and died in April. Qualls was arrested by investigators with the District Attorney’s office on May 17.

Hallum was an educator at Arvin High School for some forty years and was a Vietnam veteran.

-Posted by Jeff Lemucchi