A Greenville, Ohio, man told his ex-wife he was going to kill her and their son. He partially carried out the threat and was sentenced to life in prison for it.
A Darke County judge handed Lawrence M. Hill, 56, a life term in prison for the shooting death of his son, Vincent Hill, 31. Lawrence Hill pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder, an unclassified felony.
The two counts of burglary were dropped in accordance with the plea agreement.
On Nov. 13, 2020, Vincent Hill’s mother found his body riddled with multiple gunshots at his home along the 2100 Block of State Route 502 on the outskirts of Greenville. She initially reported it as a suicide to authorities after she called 911. However, investigators thought otherwise and classified the incident as a homicide.
It was revealed Vincent Hill had a tumultuous relationship with his father. In addition, Lawrence Hill had called his ex-wife and told her he was going to kill her and their son.
“After my discussions with the sheriff’s office, we stand firm on our recommendation for the 25 years. I believe it gives the court a lot of discretion in this matter and looking at the seriousness factors.We have a death involved,” said Prosecuting Attorney James Bennet, according to Daily Advocate.
In a counter argument, the defendant’s defense attorney, David Rohrer, highlighted for the court mitigating factors in consideration of a reduced sentence. He said his client had spent eight years in the Navy and had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In addition, Lawrence Hill was released from the military service under honorable medical discharge. As a result, he claimed he had Lawrence Hill examined by two forensic scientists, and they both concluded he was mentally ill but not intellectually disabled.
Nevertheless, Rohrer continued by asking the court to sentence his client to a minimum of 20 years to life in prison.
“It is impossible for me to understand how someone could hurt a child, let alone take their own life.Vincent was my only nephew. You took his life at 31 years old. You stole our tomorrows,” said Lawrence Hill’s former sister-in-law Roxanne Beck at the victim’s impact statement segment of the hearing, according to Darke County Now.
Though parole is not guaranteed, Lawrence Hill will be eligible in 20 years. He was credited with 330 days spent awaiting trial in the county jail. The defendant was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.