Federal grand jury indicts suspended Clayton County Sheriff on new charges

Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill will be back in federal court Thursday for an arraignment on new charges against him.  

According to an indictment obtained by FOX 5, a grand jury indicted Hill on a new count July 29. 

Back in April, the U.S. Attorney's Office alleged Hill had violated four detainees' Constitutional rights by ordering them held in restraint chairs for hours inside the Clayton County Jail. The four alleged victims were Joseph Arnold, Joseph Harper, Glenn Howell and a 17-year-old identified as C.H.  

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill was indicted on a fifth allegation. 

The indictment alleged Hill "willfully deprived" the men "of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by law enforcement officers amounting to punishment."

Gov. Brian Kemp suspended Sheriff Hill from office in June at the recommendation of a three-person commission that reviewed the federal indictment.  

In mid-July, Hill's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case and a motion for a bill of particulars, arguing in part, that there was no evidence the alleged victims suffered any injuries or pain.

The superseding indictment, however, includes an account by a fifth alleged victim, W.T., or Walter Thomas.  According to the indictment, Georgia State Patrol troopers arrested Thomas in May of 2020 for speeding and driving with a suspended Florida driver's license.  

Once Thomas was in the Clayton County Jail, Sheriff Hill allegedly ordered officers to strap Thomas into a restraint chair.  

"Soon after [Thomas] was strapped into the restraint chair and while [he] was still in the presence of [Sheriff Hill], a CCSO employee covered [Thomas's] head with a hood [... his] face was struck twice by what [he] believed to be a fist," the indictment reads.  

Sheriff Hill's attorney, Drew Findling, issued a statement to FOX 5 in response to the new allegations:  

"The superseding indictment is a desperate Hail Mary by the government in response to Sheriff Hill's powerful motion to dismiss. The allegations contained in the additional count were known to the government for over a year and clearly not included by the government in the initial indictment.  The not-so-new allegation blatantly lacks credibility and originates from a clearly biased source.  Most importantly, there is no allegation that Sheriff Hill himself or anyone at his direction physically assaulted or touched this individual." 

The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment.  

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.