A LaFayette, Ga., lawyer is under investigation for his alleged role in trying to convince a witness in a child molestation case to recant her testimony.
Mark Lynn McGill's ex-girlfriend told police in June 2015 that she saw him exchange oral sex with her 12-year-old son. The case is still pending. Meanwhile, in early April of this year, police arrested the ex-girlfriend on charges of possessing methamphetamine.
McGill, who was out on bond, talked to a woman close to his ex-girlfriend on April 27, according to a Walker County Sheriff's Office incident report. In a recorded conversation, McGill said he could provide a lawyer and someone to pay for his ex-girlfriend's bond if she recanted.
McGill's attorney, Larry Hill, met with the woman that same day at the Walker County Jail. They talked about signing an affidavit for McGill's case, according to the report. He also asked her to write to her son and her sister, another witness in the child molestation case, "stating that this is what they needed to do."
According to the report, Hill told the woman a lawyer "would be hired" and someone would pay her bond after he returned with a signed statement from McGill agreeing to the arrangement.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson declined to comment on the case. But multiple sources close to the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they did not have clearance to talk publicly about the case, said the sheriff's office seized a written document that explained the agreement when Hill returned.
Six days later, on May 3, the sheriff's office arrested McGill on a charge of influencing a witness. Hill withdrew as McGill's attorney that same day, but investigators have not charged him.
Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin recused his office from handling the investigation. About a week ago, the state attorney general's office appointed Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston to take over.
"We've just started to look at it," Poston said Thursday.
Hill did not return multiple calls to his office. But attorney Chris Townley, who is representing Hill, said his client did not participate in a plan to change a key witness' story.
"We work as attorneys off information we receive from our clients," Townley said. "We don't always know what our clients are saying and doing with other people. We rely on our clients. That's all Larry Hill was doing."
The alleged victim's mother told investigators McGill offered her $20,000 to recant her testimony several times before her arrest. She said McGill wanted her to sign an affidavit that her attorney was going to provide.
Hill is the son of retired Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Ralph Hill, who served on the bench from 1995-2008. His mother, Sylvia Hill, used to manage a probation office in the circuit.
Larry Hill has worked a couple of high-profile cases. In 2015, he represented former Fort Oglethorpe building inspector Mark Lindsay in a theft by receiving case. Lindsay lost a bench trial, though the Georgia Court of Appeals later overturned the conviction.
In 2004, Hill represented Donnie Allen Hulett, whom a jury convicted of murdering two brothers in Villanow.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.