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Ex-Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill sentenced to 18 months in federal prison

ATLANTA — A controversial sheriff convicted of violating detainees’ rights learned his sentencing in federal court for civil rights violations.

A jury found former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill guilty on six counts back in October. On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Hill to 18 months in federal prison.

He will also have six years of supervised release and must complete community service. Federal prosecutors had recommended up to four years in prison.

Hill was the sheriff in Clayton County for nearly 15 years before he was indicted and suspended in 2021.

A year later, Hill was found guilty of using unreasonable force and violating inmates’ constitutional rights by strapping them down and leaving them in restraint chairs inside the Clayton County jail, sometimes for hours.

Under federal law, the chair can only be used if detainees are at risk of harming themselves or others.

After four days of deliberations, jurors found that Hill caused physical pain and bodily injury to six men. The jury found him not guilty on a seventh case.

The prosecution used video of the incidents and testimony from the victims to convince the jury.

“This isn’t Court TV. This is something that actually happened personally to me,” one of the victims said.

Hill’s defense attorney Drew Findling told WSB after the verdict that they plan to fight the decision and free Hill.

“You can rest assured that this case on behalf of Victor Hill will be appealed and I can imagine and we collectively can imagine that like in other cases…the case will be reversed.”

Two months after the verdict, the state of Georgia revoked the law enforcement certification for Hill. Under Georgia law and POST rules, an officer is not allowed to continue in that capacity with a felony conviction.

A special election is scheduled for March 21 to elect Hill’s replacement as sheriff. Early voting runs through March 17.

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