Breaking News
More () »

Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill pleads not guilty to charges in latest federal indictment

Attorneys represented the suspended Clayton County Sheriff in federal court Thursday, while Victor Hill waived his appearance.

ATLANTA — Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill entered a not guilty plea in federal court Thursday on allegations of mistreatment under his watch at the Clayton County Jail violating the civil rights of several inmates.

Hill waived his appearance, excusing him from attending the hearing, but his attorneys presented paperwork to magistrate Court Judge Linda Walker detailing the plea. 

The hearing lasted under five minutes and was related to Hill being re-indicted by a federal grand jury on July 29. 

In April, a federal grand jury indicted Hill on four charges of violating the civil rights of four separate inmates at the Clayton County Jail in 2020. Hill pleaded not guilty to those charges in April after turning himself into FBI agents.

He was released from custody after entering his plea.

Then on July 29 a superseding indictment was filed, adding an additional charge for another victim, also a Clayton County Jail inmate in 2020. 

RELATED: Kemp signs order to suspend Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill

"It was just the addition of one count and all it did was add somebody, an event that was vaguely referenced in this new account in the indictment. It is something the government knew about for well over a year," Hill's attorney Drew Findling said of the latest indictment following Thursday's hearing. 

In Thursday's hearing, the latest charge was read. It describes an inmate who was arrested for speeding and a suspended out-of-state license being illegally placed in a restraint chair for hours, and having a hood placed over their face before being punched causing the inmate to bleed. 

The latest indictment describes Hill ordering the inmate to be placed in the chair, and being present when the hood was placed on the inmate's head. 

RELATED: Former prosecutor: Federal criminal case against Sheriff Victor Hill will be ‘extremely difficult to prove’

"It really doesn't say anything," Findling said. "It generally says he is the sheriff of Clayton County, the sheriff is in charge of the jail, it could have very, very specifically said he had physical contact which he didn't so it doesn't say that. It could have said he directed others to do something, it doesn't say that because he didn't do it."

In July, Hill's attorneys filed a request to dismiss the initial indictment against their client. 

With the latest indictment, Findling said he plans to amend the request and expects a judge to hold a hearing to hear arguments on whether the case should be dismissed.

In the July court filing, Hill's attorneys claimed the case should be dismissed because federal prosecutors carried out an exhaustive investigation, failed to find any serious criminal conduct, and the current charges against Hill represent a Hail Mary pass of "unprecedented overreach." 

No date has been set for a hearing on the motion to dismiss. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out