Man guilty in shooting that paralyzed Pa. officer

Jury on Monday convicted James Robert Hill on all counts for shooting and paralyzing Pittsburgh police officer Morgan Jenkins

By Adam Brandolph
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — An Allegheny County jury on Monday convicted James Robert Hill on all counts for shooting and paralyzing Pittsburgh police officer Morgan Jenkins.

Hill, 25, faces 58 to 116 years in prison. He was charged with attempted homicide, assault of a law enforcement officer and related counts in the April 11, 2013, shooting.

"I'm not happy with the verdict," said Hill's sister, Charlotte Hill. "He didn't do it."

There were "too many inconsistencies" at the trial, and an appeal will be filed, she said.

Hill's trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman began last Tuesday. Hill was a fugitive who had escaped from Gateway Rehabilitation Center -- a halfway house -- about a year before the shooting.

Jenkins, who now uses a wheelchair, testified that Hill sped through a residential neighborhood, went through two stop signs and fought with officers when his car crashed. Jenkins chased Hill into the woods and fired two shots at Hill when Hill raised his gun in Jenkins' direction. Hill returned at least four shots, Jenkins said.

Hill's lawyer, Robert Foreman, acknowledged that his client ran from the officers, but he said he blacked out during the gunfire in the woods. Foreman said Hill doesn't recall much from that night, but is certain that he didn't fire a gun.

Hill, who was wounded in the shootout, told investigators from his hospital room at UPMC Presbyterian that he had 10 shots at a bar the night before the shooting.

Jenkins spent five days at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland so doctors could repair his lung and remove the bullet from his spine, and more than a month at UPMC Mercy, Uptown, for rehabilitation.

Jenkins said he has "some sensations/feelings (in his legs)," but no mobility. He has been out of work since the shooting.

Copyright 2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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