Hill's strange actions after Espinoza killing
SFPD Officer Isaac Espinoza was killed in the line of duty
when he was allegedly shot by David Hill on April 10, 2004.
Photo courtesy SFPD.
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
October 26, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A San Ramon police detective identified
today a large plastic flower that prosecutors say David Hill was
carrying the day he was arrested after stumbling into the San
Ramon Valley Regional Medical Center.
The prosecution claims that Hill, a 22-year-old admitted gang
member who is standing trial for the murder of San Francisco police
officer Isaac Espinoza, walked into the hospital on April 11,
2004 and feigned mental illness.
Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman has maintained that
the plastic flower, with white petals and a dark-green wobbly
stem, was part of an act in which Hill could lay the groundwork
for an insanity defense.
The director of that act, according to Dorfman, was fellow gang
cohort Marvin Jeffery, 26.
Jeffery, who is expected to testify later this week, is the man
who provided Hill with the assault rifle that killed Espinoza
and who then sheltered him in his San Ramon apartment, according
About 12 hours after Espinoza was shot in San Francisco's Bayview
district on April 10, 2004, police had found Hill's identification
in his black peacoat, which was found ditched near the scene of
In that time, the prosecution claims, Jeffery had convinced Hill
to admit himself to the hospital.
While there, Hill's act went beyond carrying a fake flower.
Hospital attendants were so frightened by Hill's size and behavior
that they called the San Ramon Police Department for assistance.
Detective Denton Carlson was one of the first to arrive at the
hospital just before 12:30 p.m. He testified Wednesday that, along
with a sergeant and an officer, he ordered Hill to the ground
and then into a trauma room.
That's when Hill's behavior got really strange, according to
Hill began yelling "guards" over and over again, and
when Carlson came up closer Hill said, "I am Julius Caesar,
I need to go back to Rome."
Hill shouted other things such as, "Master Charlie, don't
beat me," "I pick a hundred pounds of cotton a day"
and "Mary Lou made me do it."
After a while, Hill began to hurt himself, Carlson said.
"He tilted his head back and violently thrust his head forward
and slammed his forehead into the glass," said Carlson who
added that Hill did that again but never broke the window.
As he and fellow officers entered the room and bound Hill's ankles,
they noticed that the groaning and moaning Hill had urinated on
the floor and that he began to wallow in it, even twisting his
cuffed hands so that they would be covered in it.
Dorfman said Hill was not having a mental breakdown at the time,
he was only trying to sabotage a common detective technique called
a gunshot residue test, in which chemicals are placed on the suspect's
hands to determine whether they fired a gun recently.
Defense Attorney Martin Sabelli established upon cross-examination
that Carlson gave no indication that would tip Hill off to a test.
Hill was arrested and transported to San Francisco by San Francisco
police shortly afterward.
An expert witness had testified earlier yesterday that traces
of gunshot residue were found on Hill's peacoat. Prosecution testimony
is expected to continue today.
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