Sheriff indicted after a shooting that he called an accident
Nov. 12, 2015
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta-area sheriff who has long been a magnet for controversy was indicted Thursday on a reckless conduct charge after he shot and critically wounded a woman in what he described as an accident.
A Gwinnett County grand jury on Thursday indicted Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill on a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge, according to local media reports. Hill has acknowledged shooting Gwenevere McCord in an empty model home in Lawrenceville on May 3. Hill told a 911 operator the shooting was an accident that happened while they were practicing police tactics.
A lawyer for Hill did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment Thursday.
McCord has recovered from her injuries, local media report.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Hill re-enacted the shooting for the grand jury using his lawyer in place of McCord. Hill also read from a statement and answered several questions from grand jurors.
Hill has been free on bond since May and has continued to do his job as sheriff.
Hill and McCord were alone in the home when the shooting happened. Hill called 911 immediately after the shooting, but refused to make any statements to investigators at the scene.
A list of items taken from the home by investigators included a "gun, badge and knives from front porch," a .22-caliber handgun, a .40-caliber handgun, a blue training gun, a bloody shirt, a shell casing, a glass jar, blood swabs and a backpack with books and an iPad in it.
McCord told investigators several weeks after the shooting that Hill would never intentionally harm her and echoed Hill's story that the two were practicing police tactics. McCord's father, Ernest McCord, said at the time that his daughter was a real estate agent and wanted to learn self-defense since she was frequently alone in model homes.
Hill's tenure as sheriff in the county south of Atlanta has been tumultuous.
He fired 27 deputies on his first day in office a decade ago and took a tough-on-crime stance in his first term, raising his profile in part by using a tank owned by the agency during drug raids.
He was voted out of office in 2008, but was elected again in 2012 despite facing more than two dozen criminal charges in a corruption case. A jury later acquitted him of all 27 charges, including theft and giving false statements. That cleared the way for Hill to continue as sheriff.