LaFayette, Ga., attorney Larry Bush Hill, who pleaded guilty to trying to sway a child molestation witness, no longer can practice law in the state.
Hill asked the Georgia Supreme Court to discipline him last year, which is equivalent to getting disbarred. On Monday, the justices accepted his request. Hill agreed to the punishment in September, when he pleaded guilty to attempting to suborn perjury and influencing a witness.
Hill, the son of retired Superior Court Judge Ralph Hill, also served 45 days in jail, has to serve 240 hours of community service, has to pay a $2,500 fine and will remain on probation for 10 years.
"Many people have shown him and his family great kindness through this process," his attorney, Chris Townley, said in a statement Monday. "To those, he wishes to say, 'Thank you.' Picking up the pieces has been and will be difficult, but with God's help, he and his family will do so."
Hill admitted to working with his client, Mark Lynn McGill, an accused child molester, to pressure a witness against testifying. The witness had previously told investigators she saw McGill receive oral sex from a 12-year-old, but she was arrested last spring for possession of methamphetamine.
While she was in jail, according to an incident report, McGill approached the woman's girlfriend. He allegedly said he could help the woman with her criminal case if she changed her statement against him. The girlfriend recorded the conversation.
Still in jail, the woman told Walker County Sheriff's Office investigators that Hill was going to try to convince her to change her testimony. According to an incident report, the woman initially remained firm with Hill, telling the attorney she saw McGill engage in a sex act with a child.
The report does not say whether the woman egged Hill on, making him think she was open to changing her statement. But the next part of the sheriff's narrative states Hill asked her to tell a family member and the victim in the case to recant their testimonies. Then, Hill returned with a written statement, supposedly in the woman's voice, explaining that she did not actually see the molestation.
When Hill left the meeting room inside the jail, a Walker County detective waited on the other side of the door. He seized the affidavit as evidence, Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston said.
The child molestation case against McGill is pending, tentatively scheduled for a May trial. Jeremy Penland, an attorney in Ringgold, now is representing him. McGill also faces charges of influencing a witness and attempting to suborn perjury.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.