LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Investigators say that when attorney Larry Hill met with a woman on May 1, she told him that she had walked in on her 12-year-old son performing oral sex on a man who happened to be Hill's client.
And yet Hill returned to the woman later that day with an affidavit, supposedly written in her words, saying that she did not actually witness the sex act, that she previously made up the whole account of child molestation. But a Walker County Sheriff's Office detective had been monitoring the interaction.
And on Tuesday morning, a grand jury indicted Hill for his alleged role in a cover-up plot, charging him with influencing a witness and attempting to suborn perjury. Hill's former client, Mark Lynn McGill, faces the same charges.
Hill, 51, the son of a retired superior court judge, turned himself in at the Walker County Jail on Tuesday. He did not return a message seeking comment. His lawyer, Chris Townley, has previously said Hill was simply acting on behalf of his client: He did not know that the information in the affidavit that he gave the woman was false.
But after looking through the indictment Tuesday, Townley said he needed more time to examine the details of the case. He did not know that the woman allegedly told Hill she directly saw the sexual act before Hill gave her an affidavit stating the opposite.
According to the indictment, the affidavit written by Hill also alleges that the victim in the case later recanted his statement. Supposedly, Hill wrote that the boy falsely accused his client because McGill took away the boy's video games.
"That's all new information," Townley said Tuesday. "We haven't had a chance to investigate."
The roots of the case stretch back to June 2015, when McGill's ex-girlfriend told police that she saw him molest her 12-year-old son. That case is pending.
In early April, police arrested the woman on a charge of possessing methamphetamine. A close acquaintance of the woman told investigators that McGill had been contacting her. First, he allegedly offered $20,000 in exchange for the woman to recant her testimony. Then, after her arrest, he supposedly said he could provide the woman with an attorney and pay her bond to get her out of jail.
Someone recorded at least one of those conversations, according to the Walker County Sheriff's Office. Then, on the same day that McGill met with the woman's close acquaintance, Hill visited the woman in jail. According to the incident report, he told her an arrangement could be made. He also asked her to write letters to her son and her sister, another witness in the case, to explain the arrangement.
Jeremy Penland, a Ringgold attorney appointed to represent McGill, said the investigators' facts of the case are backwards. He said his client is innocent of child molestation. After the woman's arrest, her close acquaintance reached out to McGill, asking him for help.
The acquaintance, who is now dating the woman in question, then set up an arrangement: McGill could provide an attorney and some other financial support, and the mother would come clean that she never actually witnessed any illegal sexual acts. Penland said the acquaintance called McGill four or five times, but investigators only have a recording from one such conversation.
He said the woman had to drop the charges before McGill could help her.
"If I don't have these charges, I can probably do something," Penland said, speaking as if he were McGill. "But if I do anything before I'm not liable in this child molestation case, I can get in trouble for influencing a witness."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.
This story was updated Aug. 8 at 11:59 p.m. with more information.