PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A request to move Petersburg quadruple murder suspect Alexander Hill from Riverside Regional Jail to another facility was denied by a judge on Thursday morning.
Defense attorney John Rockecharlie says the request was made because Hill, 48, has developed a delusion that staff at Riverside Regional are trying to poison him. Hill has been refusing to eat, drink or communicate with anyone.
The judge in court Thursday denied the request, saying that there is no actual threat against Hill, only a perceived threat. He will remain at Riverside Regional Jail.
Rockecharlie told 8News that Hill, accused of killing four members of a Petersburg family in 2014, is paranoid about correctional officers at Riverside Regional because of their connections to the city of Petersburg. Rockecharlie says Hill thinks the officers are out to ‘get him,’ trying to put ‘stuff in his food and water’ in an attempt to kill him. Because of that, Hill refused to either eat or drink or communicate with them, Rockecharlie told 8News.
Hill also developed an intestinal problem that was so severe, it required him to recently undergo emergency medical surgery at Southside Regional Medical Center, according to Rockecharlie.
When officials at the jail began noticing Hill was skipping meals, Riverside Regional obtained a temporary detention order, which allowed for Hill to ship him off to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County for a psychiatric evaluation, Rockecharlie said.
The doctor treating Hill at Central State realized Hill was suffering a medical condition that was putting him in severe pain. Rockecharlie said it was ‘some sort of intestinal issue’ that had been irritated by not eating or drinking. After surgery to fix the condition, Hill remained hospitalized for several days as he recovered. When staff at Central State determined Hill was suffering from a medical issue and not a psychiatric one, he was sent back to Riverside Regional on Monday.
After meeting with Hill on Tuesday, Rockecharlie said that it’s his impression that Hill is suffering from paranoid delusions. Hill is again saying he won’t eat and again says that it’s because he believes the staff is trying to kill him, Rockecharlie said.
Rockecharlie requested that Hill be moved from Riverside Regional to one of the two jails operated by the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office. He said the distance would act as a buffer, hopefully making it so there will be no connection and Hill would no longer be paranoid. Rockecharlie said that he hoped Hill would then begin to eat and drink again, because in his current condition, he can’t assist in his own defense.
Hill is charged with four counts of murder after three women and a toddler were found dead inside a charred home on Harding Street in Petersburg last year. Two of them were stabbed and the child and one of the women died in the fire. Those killed were Pauline Wilkins, 67, Vicki Chavis-Ansar, 46, Tanique Chavis, 22, and Delvair Chavis, 2.
Hill was captured on April 23 hiding out in a soup kitchen under a false name in Buffalo, N.Y. He returned to the area in early May and has been held at Riverside since.
Hill has appeared in Petersburg General District and Circuit Court via video feed since his return. Both times, he has kept and his head down and refused to answer questions. Authorities eventually resigned to strapping him into a chair to keep him upright, but Hill has still refused to comply.
Stay with 8News for more on this developing story.