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Sheriff Victor Hill found guilty of civil rights violations in federal trial

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A federal jury Wednesday found Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill guilty of violating civil rights of jail detainees.

He was found guilty on six of his seven charges, and not guilty on one of those charges.

The jury began deliberations Friday afternoon and have continued throughout the week until they reached a verdict this afternoon.

Federal prosecutors argue that no detainees were showing violent or uncontrollable behavior at the time they were restrained.

They say the sheriff based his use of the chair solely on behavior they displayed before they arrived at the jail.

In one case, prosecutors say Hill put a man in the chair for hours because the detainee previously used profanity against him, and the restraint was revenge. Jailers testified that at the time of restraint, the inmate was no problem.

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

Hill took the stand in his own defense last week, saying the chair is safe and that he was not aware of any inmate getting hurt in it.

One of the jurors was removed on Tuesday, and a second was questioned by the judge after being accused by fellow jurors of covering his eyes and ears while other jurors spoke.

His attorney Drew Findling argued that Hill never did anything improper with the chair and likely prevented  someone else from getting hurt by using it.


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