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Teen remembered as 'so bright & so smart'

Posted: 11:08 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-16 23:55:19-04

ST. BERNARD, Ohio -- Crystal Prather knew Hailey Hall before she was even born. She was a close family friend, Prather said, and Hailey was a child full of life and love.

They're all past-tense verbs when Prather talks about Hailey now; the 16-year-old died Monday after spending two weeks in a coma. She was badly beaten outside Inner Circle Nightclub in Linwood on Feb. 29, according to police. She was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where officers found her.

"She was such a beautiful girl," Prather said. "She was so bright and so smart, and no child on this earth ever deserves to have that happen to them."

Hailey was a sophomore at St. Bernard-Elmwood Place High School, which has raised approximately $5,000 for her family. This week, the school has had dress-down days, where students bring $1 to donate and can dress out of uniform.

Hailey's family is working out funeral arrangements.

Scott Reisbord, an assistant principal, is leading a program called Beat the Hurt, which gives students a chance to talk. Though it started before Hailey's death, he said it's especially needed now.

"They've come into my office every hour on the hour asking why... and it's a hard thing, because we don't have answers," Reisbord said. "But what we do preach to our young people is the way to keep Hailey alive in your heart is to be successful and go out there and work hard and be productive, and she will always be in our hearts no matter where we are -- because no matter what, she's a titan."

William Lamar Arnold, 34, was arrested and charged with felonious assault of a juvenile. More charges against Arnold are now pending, according to the Cincinnati Police Homicide Unit.

"I just want her to know that I'm so sorry this happened to her," Prather said, "and if there was any one of us who could make things different for her that night, we would have done so in a heartbeat."