Victor Hill appears in court for hearing on racketeering charges

Victor Hill appears in court for hearing on racketeering charges

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Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill was in court on Friday for a hearing on racketeering charges against him.

Judge Albert Collier says Clayton County residents will soon get the racketeering case against Hill resolved. The government accuses the top cop of using his previous office as sheriff and his 2008 re-election campaign funds for personal benefit.

On Friday, Hill's defense team asked the judge to keep FOX 5's cameras out of the courtroom and remove District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson from the case.

"Ms. Graham Lawson is listed as a state's witness and we believe that per say the law, it's clear that one cannot be an advocate and a witness in the same matter," said Hill's attorney, Steven Frey.

The judge ruled against Hill on both issues. Special Prosecutor Layla Zon of the Alcovy circuit will handle the 37-count indictment for Lawson. Some 350 potential jurors have been summoned to courthouse August 5.

The judge also disclosed past relationships with both sides. Not only is Sheriff Hill in charge of security for Judge Collier and his staff, but the two have worked together over their careers.

"While I was employed in a previous position as an assistant district attorney, I worked closely with then-Detective Victor Hill on several cases for prosecution," said Collier.

Collier also revealed he and Lawson attend First Baptist Church of Jonesboro together and sing in the same choir. But the judge says, none of that will matter.

"I have determined that I can be fair and impartial to both parties in this case and do not see a need to recuse," said Collier.

Lawson was removed from the witness list and will not testify in the case.

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