Defense attorney Drew Findling embraces Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill after a jury acquitted him on 25 felony charges late Thursday afternoon. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats)
JONESBORO — Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has been acquitted on all charges against him.
A Clayton County jury returned a verdict of not guilty on 25 felony counts late Thursday afternoon.
Jurors were hung on two counts, which special prosecutor Layla Zon agreed to drop in exchange for getting the verdict rendered without delay.
Hill did not address the media after the verdict but his defense team did.
Attorney Drew Findling called the prosecution “ridiculous.”
“We told you a long time ago, we’d take this from the ballot box to the jury box,” said Findling. “This was a ridiculous, disgraceful and unconstitutional indictment against him. Sheriff Hill is not here because he’s back to work and other than address you on issues of law and order, he wouldn’t dignify this prosecution.”
Findling reiterated what he said in court, calling former Sheriff Kem Kimbrough the “true racketeer.”
“Sheriff Hill will not dignify what was exposed in that courtroom,” he said. “The real RICO was a 48-week surveillance where he was followed around.”
Co-counsel Steve Frey said Hill is “surrounded by family and friends and eager to get back to work.”
He said he estimated the county spent “untold” dollars in the prosecution of Hill.
“Probably close to $1 million,” said Frey.
Findling called for an investigation into the $400,000 he said was spent during the 48-week surveillance of Hill in the months leading up to his January 2012 indictment.
“People need to look at that money they spent following him around,” he said. “Money spent by the very people who felt threatened by him.”
Zon prosecuted the case for Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.
Lawson said after the verdict that she appreciated Zon’s efforts.
“I just want to express my gratitude to Layla Zon for coming in and to the jurors for sifting through evidence and for their service to Clayton County,” said Lawson.