William J. Hill was sentenced to a year in prison Tuesday by a Circuit Court judge who told him to stop using the problems of his youth as an excuse for recidivism.
“Somewhere along the line you should have gotten the message,” said Judge Joseph Spruil.
Hill is the son of Prince William County Supervisor Mary K. Hill, R-Coles. Mary Hill lost her bid for re-election in a June primary. Her term of office ends Jan. 1.
William Hill has had repeated run-ins with the law on drug and assault charges. He pleaded guilty in August to five charges stemming from the sale of marijuana to an undercover Prince William police detective.
Officers serving search warrants earlier this year found MDMA — also known as methylenedioxy-methamphetamine — in the home he shares with his mother and in his car. MDMA is known on the street as ecstasy.
“You so far have been your own worst enemy,” Spruil said. “Drug dealers are a scourge in our community. They start young people on the path you’ve been on for a while.”
Defense attorney James Hurd told Spruil his client had been attending church-related programs in jail. But the judge told Hill that finding God in jail is routine, and the real test will come when Hill gets out.
Hurd argued for leniency, saying that Hill needed a treatment program in lieu of a jail term.
But Spruil decided he will get both.
Problems Hill had with his father when he was a boy contributed to his delinquency, Hurd said. The 21-year-old turned to drugs as a coping mechanism at 14, he said.
Hurd portrayed his client as an individual with a promising future, who, by receiving treatment, will be clean and sober.
Hill, who has never participated in a treatment program before, apologized to the court and his family.
“I’ve put them through a living hell, pretty much,” he said just before being sentenced.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Hogan, from Chesterfield County, told the judge that Hill had plenty of opportunities to get clean. Hogan was brought in as a special prosecutor because Hill’s mother holds an elected position.
Since 1997, when he was 14, Hill has been charged with assault and battery, probation violation, possession of marijuana and ecstasy, distribution of marijuana, eluding police and other charges. The last two times he was sentenced, he was given a lenient punishment, according to the prosecutor.
“What I see is a fellow who just hasn’t gotten the message,” Hogan said. He asked rhetorically why Hill was pleading for a chance now, while facing jail time.
“The choice he made was to sell drugs,” Hogan said.