What is the status of the recent trial involving Joint-Base Lewis McChord infantryman Pvt. Jeremiah Hill?
Following a fact-intensive trial, 24-year old Pvt. Jeremiah Hill will spend the next 45 years behind bars after a six-member jury convicted him of murder without premeditation. Hill, a U.S. Army infantryman stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was arrested following an October 5, 2013 incident on the Pacific Highway South near the base, which is located in Tacoma, Washington.
According to eye witness accounts, Hill and several fellow soldiers were traveling on foot down the Pacific Highway South when the group crossed paths with the victim, 20-year old Spc. Tevin Geike, who was traveling by vehicle after a “night of partying.” From there, a passenger in the vehicle made an allegedly menacing remark toward the group of individuals traveling on foot, and a confrontation ensued. Shortly thereafter, the men realized that all were members of the military, further confounding the tension between the two groups.
Of major issue in the trial was whether Hill, at this point, stabbed the victim in retaliation for his brandishing of a knife, or whether he committed the act unprovoked. While prosecutors for the Army argued that there is no way Hill had acted in self-defense, Geike’s mortal wound was located beneath his right shoulder, thereby shedding doubt on prosecutors’ claims that Hill attacked the victim from behind.
Also at issue was a deep cut on Hill’s hand; incidentally the same hand used in the fatal stabbing. According to prosecutors, the cut occurred due to Hill’s mishandling of his own weapon. In counter, Hill’s counsel alleged that the defendant sustained the wound as a result of his hand slipping during the self-defensive maneuver.
According to investigators, three knives were found on scene – including one knife on the victim’s person.
In the end, jurors opted to forgo a conviction of first degree premeditated murder, and convicted Hill of a lesser murder offense that did not include the premeditation element. Hill will spend at least nine years behind bars before he will be eligible for parole, and will be credited for time served.
Contact a knowledgeable military homicide defense attorney in Denver today!
If you or someone you know is facing an assault or murder court martial and you need immediate legal assistance, please contact Denver’s Aviso Law LLC right away. You can reach our office by dialing 719-247-3111 today.