Dupon’s lawyer forecasts plea change

The roadside memorial to Emma Hall on the Beach Road seawall. —Rich Saltzberg

A change of plea appears likely for Zarchary Dupon. On Monday, Dupon’s attorney, Rachel Self, told Edgartown District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes she’s seeking a change of plea date for the case. Dupon pleaded not guilty to a charge of motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation on Dec. 21. He also pleaded not guilty to speeding and a marked lanes violation. The charges came as a result of the Dec.19 death of Emma Hall on Beach Road in Tisbury. Hall was pronounced dead at the scene after her Volkswagen was allegedly hit head-on by Dupon’s SUV. Hall’s two passengers, sisters Molly and Monica Carroll, sustained injuries from the collision. Monica Carroll was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital.

“We’re now in resolution talks of this matter,” Self told the court. “At this point a trial seems very unlikely.”

Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Matt Palazzolo continued to press for medical records in the case in the face of strong opposition from Self. Palazzolo asserted Dupon was injured, and the medical records will show that. Self questioned why medical records were necessary when resolution talks were at hand. She submitted a memorandum in support of sentencing to the court. The memorandum asks the court to take a restorative justice approach and consider probation in lieu of jail time for Dupon. Judge Barnes set a change of plea hearing for July 30. Palazzolo told the court that it was important that all parties who want to be heard are able to attend the hearing. With that in mind, he said, rescheduling is a possibility.

Self argued time was of the essence to resolve the matter.

“Every day that this goes on,” Self said, “it’s very harrowing for all parties involved.”


  1. To Attorney Self…your words about the fact that this case is “harrowing” show a profound disconnect. I would offer you that for all those who love Emma Hall harrowing is the tip of an iceberg of lifelong grief.

  2. This was an egregious act of carelesness and the public awaits an appropriate punishment for taking a persons life so wantonly. The narrative by the defense attorney makes one suspect that justice will not be done.

  3. To Attorney Self… I wish there was a gag order as each and every time you speak to the press on behalf of your client who killed my daughter and injured her two of her best friends, your hurtful and careless word choices do significant damage to all that love Emma. Please think and be respectful and do not speak on behalf of Emma’s friends and family.

  4. Rachel Self,
    Emma was one of my absolute best friends, and “harrowing” doesn’t even come close to describing the pain that I, and the rest of her friends and family feel every single day without her being here. Next time you decide to speak on our behalf, don’t. You, nor your client, will ever understand what we feel.

  5. Defense Attorney Self, your words are thoughtless and callous. Emma Hall was killed and her friends were injured. Those are the facts. “Harrowing” doesn’t begin to describe it. Where is your empathy and respect for the friends and families of these girls?!

  6. “Self argued time was of the essence to resolve the matter.” I wish the Hall family had time with their daughter. Time will never be the same. It’s a life TIME of grief. There is no resolution. Self’s insensitivity & speaking for the Hall family is only worsening the pain and heartbreak.

  7. Time has stopped for Emma Hall and no amount of time will resolve this matter for Emma’s family and friends. Attorney Self’s comments disregard the lifelong impact her client’s actions have had on all those who love Emma.

  8. For those of us who knew sweet Emma, the anger is palpable at the thought that Mr. Dupon is not taking responsibility for his actions and decisions of that night. And if Attorney Self thinks that describing these last 6 months as harrowing for all parties involved is going to garner sympathy for her client, she is hugely mistaken. What an insensitive and poor choice of words.

  9. I was going to thank Susan for her powerful words regarding Emma, then scrolling further came Emma’s father.
    My deepest condolences on the loss of your daughter.

  10. I feel so awful for what Emma Hall endured. Her family and friends are left to suffer and grief for a young and caring young woman. Her two friends were badly injured also. And this kind and caring young woman was killed just before the holidays which makes it even worse. This very careless young man needs to be held accountable for his actions! He needs and deserves more then being on probation!! That shouldn’t even be a consideration. My heart goes out to Emma Halls family.

  11. ‘Harrowing’ is only one place on a spectrum, and doesn’t begin to describe the anguish that Emma’s family has suffered and will endure without end, but it seems you wouldn’t care to know or actually recognize that, Atty. Self.
    Probation, indeed. An abomination! Dupont must be held fully accountable, and justice be finally and appropriately served.

  12. Attorney Self-you have no right to speak the words that hurtfully argue ‘time was of the essence to resolve the matter’-there will be no resolution for the Hall family or any of Emma’s beloved friends…resolution INDEED! And ‘harrowing’ -you know nothing about it! Dupont should be held accountable for his deadly and selfish decisions that night! Yes, ‘Resolve the matter’ and finally have your client take responsibility for his reckless and deadly actions-and don’t speak for anyone else involved.

  13. “Every day that this goes on” is, and will forever be, EVERY DAY for Emma’s family and friends. There is no resolution when a life is extinguished by careless behavior. How can there be “restorative justice?” No amount of probation can restore Emma or her family and friends to the lives they lived prior to December 21. The most they can hope for is a guilty plea and minimum sentencing as allowed by Massachusetts state law. A push for a plea bargain and probation serves only one person.

  14. This is sickening. Emma was TAKEN from us.
    Attorney Self, it makes me physically nauseous that you think you have any idea what Emmas family is feeling. The fact that he isn’t in jail right now is disgusting and the fact that YOU think he deserves PROBATION…

  15. To Attorney Self- There will be no resolution or restorative justice for Emma’s family and all who loved her. You insensitive and disrespectful language continues to add to the trauma.

  16. Emma Hall’s beautiful life came to a violent end on December 19th. Everyone who knew and loved Emma will never be the same. While this is a tragedy for all involved, justice must be served.

  17. Emma MacKay Hall was the most kind, loving, and supportive person that I have ever known. She, and her family and other loved ones, deserve to be shown the same amount of care that she showed the world. There is no “resolution”—we who knew Emma will never stop thinking about her. So please, Attorney Self, show some respect in your words and actions.

  18. Is Zachary Dupon made out of Teflon? His prior criminal actions didn’t stick. They just rolled right off and now the ultimate crime of killing Emma, injuring her two friends and demolishing her car now he doesn’t want that to stick either. His original sentence of 90 days in jail and $25,000 bond didn’t stick.
    An eye witness stated, I was a witness to what happened and he was doing at the minimum 70 mph and didn’t even hit the brakes in the opposite lane as he passed our family in the car and killed that poor girl and and scarred the other 2 for life.

    Don’t forget Mr. Dupon passed two cars at high speed while on his cellphone and hit Emma head on yet he walked away from the accident he caused and now he wants probation, because nothing ever sticks.

  19. Zachary Dupon and Rachel Self.
    Why is that you speak that “Time is of the essence”???
    That “your” self appointed punishment has been served??
    Seems like another pile of crap that Zachary wants to sweep under his “appointed” rug, and his lawyer Rachel Self, wants to hold the broom to do so.
    No justice? No accountability?? Explain Zachary’s pattern of behavior?? His character??
    Toxicity of his operating a 2000 pound steel moving machine??
    Kill with out with consequences??
    Where is Emma’s “TIME OF ESSENCE”

  20. I couldn’t begin to imagine for a second to know what kind of pain, grief and heartbreak a family would endure by losing a beautiful soul like Emma Hall. I certainly wouldn’t speak of it in a newspaper article. I pray when interviewed on anything else about this case that Attorney Self chooses the path of silence when referring to everyone involved.

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