Grand jury gets case against Lexington mom accused of trying to kill her child

jwarren@herald-leader.comOctober 24, 2012 

Lamonica Hill, 41, was arrested by fire investigators Monday, October 15, 2012. She is charged with arson.

A Fayette County grand jury will review the case against a Lexington woman charged with attempting to kill her 12-year-old son.

After a hearing Wednesday morning, District Judge T. Bruce Bell ruled that there is sufficient evidence against Lamonica Hill to send the case to the grand jury.

Police charged Hill, 41, with attempted murder and arson earlier this month after an investigation into a Sept. 13 fire at an apartment on Lima Drive where Hill and her son lived.

Hill pleaded not guilty to the charges at her arraignment. Hill's attorney, public defender Bonnie Potter, had argued that there was not enough evidence to support the attempted-murder charge.

Police said Hill gave her son an overdose of sleeping pills, then deliberately started the fire in the doorway of the bedroom where he was sleeping, blocking his escape.

During Wednesday's hearing, Lexington police Capt. Carrie Bowling testified that evidence suggested that Hill was overwrought because she recently had broken up with her boyfriend and felt that she "couldn't go on."

Bowling said Hill's son told investigating officers after the fire that his mother gave him as many as 20 sleeping pills. The boy was roused by the blaze, awaking to find his mother on top of him, covering his nose and mouth, Bowling said. He then pushed Hill away and called 911, Bowling testified.

Hill burst into tears at one point during the testimony.

Police have said that Hill told them she was sleepwalking on the night of the fire and that she accidentally set the fire while dreaming about cooking on a grill.

Investigators found evidence that an accelerant had been used in the fire, Bowling testified. She said the fire apparently was set in some type of plastic container on the floor, but the blaze was mostly confined to a carpet.

According to Bowling's testimony, Hill sent a will and a suicide note to her stepmother before the fire.

Bowling said police are trying to retrieve a text message in which Hill supposedly said she wanted to kill her family.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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