Crime

Former cop wanted to ‘die by the sword.’ He got 13 years in prison.

Harold Hill, a former Berea police officer, was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for shooting at other police officers.
Harold Hill, a former Berea police officer, was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for shooting at other police officers. Madison County jail

A former Berea police officer was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for shooting at other law enforcement officers during a 2015 standoff.

“The Bible says those who live by the sword die by the sword,” Harold Hill, 60, told the judge after the sentence was imposed. “Over half my life has been carrying a badge and a gun. What a way to go out.”

Earlier this month, Hill pleaded guilty to six counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one count of wanton endangerment and misdemeanor assault for hitting his wife in the leg. Another count of attempted murder was dismissed. The 13-year sentence included 12 months for the assault charge.

He also pleaded guilty to hitting two jail employees in 2016. Hill was not eligible for probation.

Hill, who was also a former Madison County court bailiff, had a motorcycle accident several years ago that caused physical and emotional problems, defense attorney Tucker Richardson said.

“He was drinking and decided that life wasn’t worth living, and he wanted to do suicide by cop,” Richardson said after the sentencing.

That appeared to be why Hill cited the “die by the sword” quote in his statement to Madison Circuit Judge Bill Clouse.

In October 2015, police responded to a complaint that someone was firing a gun on Raven Drive in Berea. Hill fired at officers, who fired back before Hill barricaded himself in a house. He eventually was arrested, and no one was injured.

Hill was charged with attempted murder, but Richardson said no state troopers or Madison deputy sheriffs were struck, nor were their vehicles hit.

“Now you see how wrong that was of you and how you put yourself in danger and other people in danger. You understand that?” Clouse said to Hill.

“Yes,” Hill answered.

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