CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday in the federal trial against suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill.
Hill is accused of violating Clayton County Jail detainees' civil rights. U.S. Attorneys indicted Hill, alleging he used restraint chairs on detainees for hours.
Prosecutors said the chairs caused pain and bodily injury to detainees.
Hill's attorneys said the case is politically motivated and maintained he's done nothing wrong. Hill pleaded not guilty.
Gov. Brian Kemp suspended him, pending the outcome of the federal case against him. A Fulton County Superior Court judge denied a request to override the governor's suspension in December 2021. Under state law, Hill's suspension lasts until the conclusion of his case or the end of his current term.
A 12-page indictment claims Hill left inmates suspended for hours and in one case harassed a landscaper who had a payment dispute with a Clayton County deputy.
An artist's sketch of suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill inside an Atlanta courtroom. (FOX 5 Atlanta)
Hill's legal team said "political enemies" solicited alleged victims named in the indictment. Hill's attorney claimed there were valid reasons for restraining individuals and none received any physical injuries and were monitored by jail officials and health professionals.
"Sheriff Hill’s defense attorneys are ready to go to trial to get him vindicated from charges that are clearly politically motivated," a statement by Hill Attorney Alan G. Parker said.
Lawyers for Hill claim the landscaper was "solicited" by Butts County Sheriff Gary Long, who was a deputy under former Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough.
The indictment claims Hill personally communicated with the alleged victim before he was arrested on misdemeanor charges. The indictment claims the alleged victim spoke with jail personnel before Hill confronted him and later ordered them strapped to a restraint chair.
The trial could last about two weeks.