Man pleads innocent in threat case

Man pleads innocent in threat case

DANVILLE — A 56-year-old Home Gardens man will stand trial for threatening to shoot a judge over the Memorial Day weekend.

Vermilion County Circuit Judge Michael Clary on Thursday found probable cause to try Jon S. Hill on one count of threatening a public official, a Class 3 felony.

Hill, who is being represented by the public defender's office, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He pleaded innocent to the charge.

Prosecutors said Hill allegedly called Vermilion County Circuit Judge Craig DeArmond at his home on May 27 and left a threatening message on his answering machine. They said Hill, who has a military background, threatened to shoot the judge with a rifle and offered specific details on how he would do that.

Authorities were able to determine through phone records that the call came from Hill's cellphone.

At Hill's initial hearing last week, he told the court he had been taking medication for major seizure disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, among other things. He claimed he was off his medication and drunk when he made the call and didn't know what he was doing.

The case is being reassigned to Cumberland County Circuit Judge Millard Everhart, who is the chief judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

A date for a jury trial will be set at a hearing on June 27. If he's convicted, Hill could be sentenced to two to five years in prison and be fined up to $25,000. Hill remains behind bars at the Vermilion County Jail on a $100,000 bond, meaning he must pay $10,000, or 10 percent, in order to be released.

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