PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Six police officers were wounded by gunfire during a hostage situation in Philadelphia on August 14 while attempting to serve a warrant. After a tense seven-hour standoff, Maurice Hill surrendered and came out of the house with his hands raised.
But new reports have circulated that claim that Hill was not only a federal informant, but was actually let out of prison early because of his assistance with testifying in other trials and his willingness to provide criminal information to authorities.
The Appeal recovered court records that showed Hill’s continued cooperation with federal authorities to report criminal activity.
“He has testified before the Grand Jury on two occasions, was willing to testify at trial, and provided information about a shooter that led to an arrest,” his lawyer wrote. “He has cooperated with the Government and provided information that has and will likely continue to imperil his safety and that of his family.”
Hill’s lawyer requested that Hill’s sentence be lower-than-average for the felony firearm possession charge in 2008 because of his assistance with federal authorities. Though the court documents were sealed, it appears that Hill’s status as an informant helped speed up his ‘downward departure’ from the system.
The Appeal reported that in April 2010, Hill was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison followed by three years on supervised release. That year, the average sentence for a person convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm was more than 75 months in prison, according to statistics published by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Expert suggested that Hill was the beneficiary of a substantial-assistance motion, which states that when a defendant has provided substantial assistance in an investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense, the court may depart from the sentencing guidelines.
Due to the sealed court records, it’s unknown whether or not that motion was filed, but the fact that Hill was released from prison when he was suggests that may be the case. Officials say that while Hill has a lengthy criminal record dating back to his years as a teen, he has managed to avoid convictions in many of the cases he has faced.
They say that his status with the justice system may have led him to believe that the government would turn a blind eye to his future criminal acts.
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Hill was charged with attempted murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault on Saturday for his alleged actions in the shooting.
Hill, allegedly armed with an AR-15 and several handguns, had police locked in a tense 7-hour standoff when he took hostages and wouldn’t surrender. Two officers with the Narcotics Strike Force were serving a warrant at the multifamily home for a drug-related offense when things “went awry almost immediately,” and the shooter opened fire at the home. The two officers were barricaded in separate rooms and several hostages were taken.
After a few hours into the standoff, the suspect began trying to understand what punishments he would face if he gave up. City District Attorney Larry Krasner spoke with Hill about potentially making a deal – one that Krasner stated wasn’t actually going to play out.
“We need to be clear here: This was bulls— from the beginning,” Krasner said about the deal.
Krasner said that when he initially told Hill that he could be facing 25 years in prison, Hill attempted to negotiate with him, asking for 20 years.
Krasner immediately agreed, looking for any way to get Hill to surrender peacefully without shedding anymore blood.
Huge Story ( from follower ) Man Accused Of Shooting 6 Philadelphia Police Officers Was Federal Informant aka Snitch , provocateur , spy and explains why Maurice Hill allegedly got ez sentences in past . @AP @Reuters https://t.co/WwyqqEy1lj
— Media Exposed Day (@TECHGANTUA) August 21, 2019
According to the report, Hill had asked the district attorney for the agreement in writing, which Krasner said that he had started writing, but never finished. The suspect’s lawyer, who was also in contact with Hill at the time, was reportedly in on the fake negotiations.
Hill reportedly surrendered soon after brokering the fake deal with Krasner, coming out of the residence with his hands in the air as police took him into custody.
However, after these new reports about Hill’s status as an informant, it’s unclear what his future in prison might really look like.