FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge
In Courtroom Attack of a Deputy U.S. Marshal
- Incident Took Place During a Court Proceeding -
WASHINGTON – Roderick Hill, also known as Rodrick Delvon Hill, 22, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal charge of assaulting a Deputy United States Marshal, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Michael Hughes, U.S. Marshal for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Hill pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for Jan. 7, 2013. Hill faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The Court ordered that he be held without bond pending sentencing.
According to the government’s evidence, on June 21, 2012, Hill was at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, in Courtroom 301 for a scheduled preliminary hearing in a criminal case that charged him with assault with significant bodily injury. Taped on the exterior side of the double-door of Courtroom 301 were signs that prohibited the use of electronic devices, with few exceptions, for those who are waiting in the gallery of the courtroom.
While working in his official capacity and while court was in session, a deputy marshal observed Hill playing in the courtroom with a black iPhone. Hill was holding the phone at eye level, and he was using both hands to play a game on it. The deputy marshal approached Hill and told him to put the phone away. Hill complied and placed the phone in his right pants pocket.
Moments later, Hill again was observed playing a game on his phone while still seated in the courtroom. As the deputy marshal approached Hill for the second time, they made eye contact, and Hill placed the phone in his pants pocket. At that time, the deputy marshal reported this phone situation to the courtroom deputy.
When the deputy marshal looked around again, Hill was playing with the phone for the third time. At this point, the deputy marshal attempted to confiscate the phone. Hill refused to hand it over, and he struck the deputy marshal with a closed fist numerous times in the face and head area. This assault caused lacerations and extensive bleeding to the deputy marshal’s face and eye area. Consequently, the deputy marshal was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment to close the laceration to his left eye and to attend to his other injuries.
“The U.S. Marshals Service does an outstanding job protecting judges, courtroom personnel, attorneys and visitors during thousands of proceedings each year at our courthouses,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “Those who threaten or harm these dedicated law enforcement officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“This prosecution sends an extremely important message to those that would assault or attempt to harm law enforcement officers within the District of Columbia” said U.S. Marshal Hughes. “These types of attacks directed at our Deputies cannot be tolerated, especially within our own courthouses.”
In announcing today’s plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and U.S. Marshal Hughes commended the actions of the Deputy U.S. Marshals who were in the courtroom that day. U.S. Attorney Machen and Marshal Hughes also praised the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emory V. Cole and John C. Truong, who investigated and prosecuted the case.