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New York jail captain who walked away as inmate hanged himself is convicted of negligent homicide

New York jail
View of Manhattan Detention Complex known as the "Tombs."

A supervisor in a now-shuttered New York City jail who walked away after an inmate hanged himself to death with a makeshift noose has been convicted of negligent homicide, the district attorney’s office announced on Tuesday.

On Nov. 22, 2020, the month of the aging jail’s scheduled closing, an inmate named Ryan Wilson had been arguing with another incarcerated person, and prosecutors say authorities planned to move him to another cell for his safety. Wilson made a noose out of a bed sheet and attached it to the light fixture inside his cell. Prosecutors say that Wilson then called an officer over, climbed up on a stool and threatened to hang himself if Hillman wouldn’t let him out of his cell. The officer unsuccessfully tried to calm down Wilson, and Hillman filled out paperwork in the control room after that officer told her she was immediately needed.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) says that Hillman showed “inexplicable negligence” in what happened next — and is now paying the price.

“Incarcerated individuals deserve to have their lives treated with dignity,” Bragg said in a statement. “I cannot imagine the pain that Mr. Wilson family and loved ones continue to feel, and I am deeply sorry for their loss.”

Hillman’s lawyer Todd Spodek, who previously represented fraudster and “fake heiress” Anna Sorokin a.k.a. Anna Delvey, expressed sympathy for the victim and gratitude for the mixed verdict clearing his client of intentional wrongdoing.

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