State Watch

Jail guard accused of standing by while inmate killed himself

A New York City corrections officer has been accused of standing by while an inmate at the detention center she worked at died by suicide.

Rebecca Hillman, 38, was a Department of Correction captain at Manhattan Detention Complex until she was charged with negligent homicide in connection to the suicide of inmate Ryan Wilson in November, according to ABC News.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced Hamilton’s charges on Monday, accusing the former jail guard of showing a “callous disregard” for life and stopping other officers from saving Wilson as he hanged himself with a bed sheet inside his cell, the news outlet reported. 

“The death of Ryan Wilson wasn’t just a tragedy — it was a crime,” Vance said. “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.”

Hillman had reportedly called for Wilson to be transferred from his cell after he got into an argument with another inmate, according to the indictment obtained by ABC News. While he was waiting to be moved, Wilson then formed a noose from his bedsheets and threatened to hang himself if he was not released from his cell, ABC News reported.

Hillman was then called to the scene but did not come right away and stopped to fill out paperwork, prosecutors said. Ten minutes after, Wilson had jumped from his bed with the noose around his neck.

Another officer reportedly called for Hillman to open Wilson’s cell, but she refused and instead said that Wilson was “playing.” A minute later she decided to open the cell, but prevented other officers from entering and claimed that Wilson was faking it and was still breathing, prosecutors said, according to ABC News.

Hillman then called for nonemergency back up, but Wilson was reportedly dead by the time they arrived.

“This callous disregard for Mr. Wilson’s safety resulted in an irreversible loss to his family and friends, and must be held criminally accountable,” Vance said.

Hillman has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been suspended without pay from her position at the Manhattan Detention Complex, the outlet noted. 

Tags Crime New York City

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