“If his name weren’t Victor Hill, we would not be here today,” Barron said of Hill, who sat attentively nearby in a tailored, three-piece brown windowpane suit.
A federal grand jury in April indicted Hill on four counts of violating the civil rights of Clayton County Jail detainees by placing them in restraining chairs for hours as punishment. A fifth count was added in August.
Hill has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Assistant Attorney Bret Hobson told the judge ample legal precedent established that leaving detainees in restraint chairs is excessive. He said the detainees were compliant and that Hill allegedly used the devices as a warning that the detainees should never return to the county — and to settle a grudge with at least one of the men whom the sheriff believed “disrespected him.”
“There was no need for force to be used,” Hobson said.
Gov. Brian Kemp suspended Hill from duty in June, saying the indictment would impede the sheriff’s ability to do his job. In October, Hill’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court asking that he be reinstated.
Hill argues that state law mandates that if someone suspended because of an indictment “is not first tried at the next regular or special term following the indictment, the suspension shall be terminated and the public official shall be reinstated,” according to the lawsuit filed to get his job back.
Barron said she did not know when the judge would make a ruling, but said it most likely will come in the next 30 days.