Larry Bush Hill (courtesy photo)
A North Georgia attorney’s representation of a client facing felony child molestation charges morphed into felonies when he allegedly offered to buy off a key witness, according to a Walker County grand jury.
Walker County attorney Larry Bush Hill, the son of retired Lookout Mountain Superior Court Judge Ralph Hill, has been indicted on felony charges of influencing a witness and criminal attempt to suborn perjury stemming from his representation of client Mark Lynn McGill on multiple child molestation and aggravated molestation charges, according to the indictment and Walker County court records.
The indictment, handed down by the county grand jury Aug. 8, accuses Hill of extending an offer—on McGill’s behalf—to a woman named Christy Campbell to pay her legal expenses in an unrelated criminal case then pending against her. In return for McGill’s agreement to retain a lawyer to defend Campbell, Hill sought to prevent Campbell from providing potentially damaging testimony associated with criminal charges pending against McGill, the indictment said. McGill also is facing criminal charges of influencing witnesses and criminal attempt to suborn perjury, according to court records.
Hill met twice with Campbell in his efforts to seal the allegedly illicit deal, according to the indictment. He also prepared and procured from her a written affidavit containing what the indictment alleges are “materially false statements.” Campbell’s affidavit, according to the indictment, recanted previous statements she had made regarding an illegal act of oral sex that Campbell allegedly had witnessed involving McGill and a victim not identified in the indictment.
The false affidavit that Hill allegedly persuaded Campbell to sign claimed that McGill’s alleged victim had confessed to Campbell that he had lied about the illegal sex act after McGill allegedly took his video game away, the indictment said.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, McGill’s alleged victim was a 12-year-old boy.
The Walker County detective investigating the case declined to talk about the pending case. The Daily Report has called and emailed Hill and McGill’s lawyer, Ringgold attorney Jeremy Penland, for comment.
Hill’s counsel, Rossville attorney Christopher Townley, also would not talk about the pending case against Hill. But he earlier told the Times Free Press that Hill had not plotted to change a key witness’ testimony.
“We work as attorneys off information we receive from our clients,” Townley told the Times Free Press. “We don’t always know what our clients are saying and doing with other people. We rely on our clients. That’s all Larry Hill was doing.”
Conasauga Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston, who is identified in court records as the lead prosecutor, could not be reached for comment. The state attorney general’s office said that District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin of the Lookout Mountain Circuit recused from the case and that Poston was named special prosecutor. Franklin could not be reached.