LAFAYETTE, Ga. — Attorney Larry Hill admitted this morning that he tried to convince a key witness in a child molestation case to lie.
Hill pleaded guilty in Walker County Superior Court to charges of attempting to suborn perjury and influencing a witness, both felonies. After the hearing, Hill turned himself in to the Walker County Jail, where he will serve 90 days. He will also surrender his law license, pay a $2,500 fine, serve 240 hours of community service and remain on probation for the next 10 years.
According to an incident report and indictment, Hill was representing Mark Lynn McGill, a man arrested in 2015 on a child molestation charge. That case has not yet gone to trial. But in April, the alleged victim's mother was arrested on a possession of methamphetamine charge.
According to the incident report, McGill then approached the mother's girlfriend, telling her that he could help the mother out if she changed her statement — saying that she didn't actually see him molest her son. This conversation was recorded.
Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston said the mother then told Walker County Sheriff's investigators that Hill was going to meet with her at the jail and try to convince her to change her statement. The investigators recorded these conversations, too.
According to an indictment, the woman initially told Hill that she witnessed the molestation. Hill told her to to write her son and her sister (another witness in that case) and explain that they had reached some sort of an agreement. Hill then returned with an affidavit, supposedly written by the mother, explaining that she did not actually witness the molestation.
When Hill left the room, Poston said, a Walker County investigator seized the affidavit as evidence.
A grand jury indicted Hill and McGill on the same charges in August. As part of his plea agreement, Hill said he would testify in McGill's own witness tampering case. Prosecutors will not require Hill to testify about anything McGill told him about the child molestation charges. This information would be protected under attorney-client privilege.