After she allegedly allowed an inmate to commit suicide in a New York City jail, a corrections officer will be facing criminal charges for her lack of action when he performed the deadly act.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the city has announced the indictment of Department of Corrections Captain Rebecca Hillman as she issued orders that prevented other correction officers from saving the life of Ryan Wilson, who was in custody at Manhattan Detention Complex. She is also accused of making false statements in her written account of the incident.
She has been charged in a New York State Supreme Court with criminally negligent homicide and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.
D.A. Vance announced the indictment of a corrections captain for criminally negligent homicide.
“The death of Ryan Wilson wasn’t just a tragedy — it was a crime.”https://t.co/yMcprdnD0U
— Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) April 27, 2021
“As alleged in the indictment, the death of Ryan Wilson wasn’t just a tragedy — it was a crime,” said District Attorney Vance in a written statement. “Our investigation shows that Captain Hillman ordered her subordinates not to take potentially life-saving measures to help Mr. Wilson, and failed to call for medical assistance expediently. This callous disregard for Mr. Wilson’s safety resulted in an irreversible loss to his family and friends and must be held criminally accountable. I thank the Department of Investigation for its close partnership with our Office and collaboration in this matter.”
According to court documents, on Nov. 22, 2020, Hillman moved Wison to another housing unit after an argument with another inmate. Wilson proceeded to make a noose from his bedsheet and attached it to a light fixture. After calling an officer over, Wilson had climbed on a stool, put the noose around his neck, and threatened to hang himself if Hillman didn’t come and let him out of his cell.
As another corrections officer tried to calm Wilson down, Hillman had gone into the control room. After waiting for approximately 10 minutes, Wilson started to countdown, while placing the noose around his neck and jumped ended up jumping off the bed. After the other officer called for the cell to be opened so he could cut him down, a few moments later, Hillman came to the cell and informed other inmates that Wilson was fine and was “playing.”
After not allowing the cell door to be opened, after 15 minutes, Hillman called for the medical team and within minutes, Wilson was dead.
Hillman falsely stated Wilson had asked to be moved to another unit, and she had the cell door re-opened and had Wilson cut down “immediately” after the cell door was closed.
DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said, “The City’s policy is clear on what Correction staff must do when an inmate is found in a life-threatening position: Immediate action must be taken to try and save the inmate’s life. The charges resulting from this investigation reveal a stunning disregard for life and Correction Department regulations, made more egregious by the fact that the defendant is a supervisor with the rank of Captain. Despite Captain Hillman’s alleged efforts to cover up the circumstances of inmate Ryan Wilson’s death, the investigation by DOI and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office uncovered the truth and held this defendant accountable.”