Jury Deliberates in Trial of Second Restaurant Slaying Suspect

Charles Hill enters the courtroom.
Charles Hill enters the courtroom.

Accused murderer Charles Hill's fate is now in a jury's hands. They began deliberating early this afternoon, and one of the things they must consider is a confession to police of his involvement in a robbery that led to the murder of the manager of Church's Fried Chicken in February of 2004.

Jurors heard some very gripping testimony and got to watch a videotaped confession from Hill about how the murder of Sean Abraham took place. Everyone in the courtroom was silent as the jury watched and listened to the confession.

Hill didn't outright admit to robbing and killing Abraham, but after an hour-long interview, Hill finally gave police the information they needed.

He admitted to being a part of the robbery. He admitted to covering his face with a black scullie. And he admitted to being with Derek Horne and Abraham just a few blocks away from the Church's Chicken.

That's where Horne shot Abraham in the head. Hill says Horne asked him if he should shoot Abraham. Hill answered, "Nah, don't do that."

"How did he ask you specifically? What words did he use?" interrogators asked.

"'Do you want me to kill him?'" said Hill. "Nah, man, no."

Hill also told police how Abraham begged for his life, saying, "don't kill me, don't kill me."

That was seconds before Horne executed him.

Hill's attorney, Donald Lowe, says because Hill didn't want Abraham to die he should not be convicted of murder. He told the court it "boils down to Mr. Hill, Mr. Hill told him, 'Don't kill him.'"

But the prosecution says Hill was party to the crime--a ready and willing partner in the planned robbery, and therefore is just as guilty of Abraham's murder.

If convicted of murder, Hill could be sentenced to life in prison.

His codefendant, Derek Horne, is currently serving three life sentences.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com