A U.S. District Court judge has denied a request by Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill to drop federal charges against him.
Magistrate Court Judge Christopher Bly on Dec. 29 dismissed Hill’s request and certified the case “ready for trial.”
Hill, who bills himself as “the crime fighter,” was indicted in April on four counts of violating the civil rights of detainees at the Clayton County jail, primarily for the alleged use of a restraint chair as a form of inmate punishment. A superseding indictment in August added a fifth count.
Hill has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Defense attorney Drew Findling told the Associated Press that he plans to “ask the U.S. district court judge who gets assigned to the case to review the magistrate judge’s decision.”
Findling and attorney Lynsey Barron asked Bly in November to dismiss the charges against Hill, arguing that the sheriff should have been warned that putting detainees in restraint chairs could be considered excessive force and a violation of federal law.
But in his decision, Bly said: “The superseding indictment makes clear that every one of the detainees was complying with the deputies’ commands when defendant ordered them into a restraint chair,” Bly wrote in his order.