Stories posted are written by National news Journalists, not by this blog. The Journalist's name and "Source" link follow each story. We add "Tags" based on facts from the article, which are used for later retrieval, if someone wants to see all stories by a tag (Click tag of choice). Tags are at the top of story.
Our Commenting Policy

Friday, February 1, 2008

FBI house raid linked to child porn

1-31-2008 Pennsylvania:

Federal investigators were looking for evidence of child pornography when they raided a Hilltown home Monday night, touching off a fatal shooting.

But whether Darius Hill, 39, a Marine veteran of the first Iraq war who is described as a “mountain of a man,” killed himself or died from one of the five gunshot wounds inflicted by law enforcement, was still unclear Wednesday.

Bucks County Coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell said Hill died of gunshot wounds, one of which was self-inflicted, but didn't have a conclusive answer as to which bullet caused his death.

Hill, a 1986 Pennridge High School graduate, was shot six times in his bedroom Monday just before 7 p.m. after FBI agents executed a federal search warrant, authorities said.

His most grievous wounds were gunshots to the mouth and chest, officials said. The shot to the mouth was believed to be the self-inflicted one, whereas the other gunshots came from law officers' guns.

On Wednesday, the FBI stepped back from its earlier statement that a coroner's report showed conclusively Hill shot himself to death.

“The information we had was premature and that we now realize that the coroner had not made a final determination,” said FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams.

Friends and family said they couldn't believe the dedicated father of two young daughters would have committed suicide in the bedroom of the Callowhill Road home where he grew up. The sketchy narrative provided so far doesn't add up, Hill's mother said.

Hill's wife was told that he had put a gun into his mouth in the tense situation, friends and family said.

Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry said the warrants were granted for an investigation into possession and distribution of child pornography. She wouldn't say anything about the shooting besides stating that an investigation was ongoing.

Steven Gamvroulas, an agent in the Utah Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said he'd received about 700 pieces of child pornography by e-mail from Hill specifically.

As an undercover agent, Gamvroulas joined a network that shared such images, and said he was just one member of many receiving the e-mails. Hill was not suspected of producing the pornography, Gamvroulas said.

Hill's computer was seized, according to his mother, Eileen Hill, but she rejected the idea that he was involved in anything illegal. “My son's not a seller of child pornography,” she said.

Hill said her family had hired a lawyer and expected answers to the unanswered questions surrounding his death. “Frankly, he was murdered,” she said.

“Even if you committed a murder they don't have the right to come in and murder you and say you did it to yourself,” she said. “If you shot yourself in the mouth, why would they shoot you? And if they shot you first, how could you shoot yourself in the mouth?”

A FBI shooting review team is examining the incident, and Bucks County detectives are conducting their own inquiry, but neither had any new details to share Wednesday.

County detectives were not involved in the raid, so they are a “neutral party,” Campbell said.

Eileen Hill gave this account of the events:

Darius Hill had just finished working out on a treadmill and was going upstairs to take a shower when the doorbell rang. The family had ordered a pizza, and his two young daughters, ages 3 and 5, ran toward the door. Hill's wife, Rebecca, answered the door and found FBI agents outside.

Agents told Rebecca Hill they had a search warrant, but wouldn't say what they were looking for, and pushed past her into the house. When they realized her husband was home, they went upstairs to the bedroom. Rebecca Hill heard voices, but not any shots.

Soon afterward, Hilltown police escorted Rebecca Hill and her two daughters to a squad car outside and later drove them to the police station. Only several hours later did they tell her that her husband had died.

A friend said that at 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Darius Hill was a “moving mountain of a man” and a fearless Marine. “He drove the lead tank in the center column going into Kuwait City” during the first Iraq war, said the friend, who asked not to be named.

His mother said Darius had joined the Marines straight out of high school and served for a dozen years, rising to staff sergeant.

Sheila Thoder, a family friend and the bookkeeper for Hill's contracting business, said he was proud of his daughters. “He adored them, and he was such an upbeat person. If anybody ever had any problems or something wasn't going well, he'd always be the one to say everything is going to work out,” she said.

“His wife is just inconsolable,” Thoder said. “She's devastated — absolutely devastated. One minute she was planning on what to have dinner with her husband — the next she was taken out and dragged to a police station. A few hours later was told her husband was dead.”

Eileen Hill said she had to tell her granddaughters they'd never see their father again.

The eldest daughter was stunned, Hill said.

“ "Daddy was going to take me to Chuck E. Cheese's for my birthday' ... and then she cried. She said, "We were supposed to go camping this summer',” she said. “It just tore me apart. I thought — oh my.” ..more.. by Jacob Fenton can be reached at 215-957-8166 or

Pa. man fatally shot as federal officials sought child porn1-31-2008 Pennsylvania:

The Bucks County coroner says a Hilltown man was shot to death as FBI agents executed a search warrant at his home.

Dr. Joseph Campbell reported Wednesday that 39-year-old Darius Hill was shot six times Monday evening.

But Campbell says one of the wounds was self-inflicted and he does not know conclusively which one caused Hill's death.

Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry says the shooting is being investigated. She says the federal warrant was for investigation into possession and distribution of child pornography.

FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams says an earlier statement that a coroner's report showed Hill had shot himself was premature. She says the FBI is conducting an internal investigation into the shooting. Bucks County detectives are also investigating. ..more.. by

Prosecutor: FBI Justified In Shooting Child Porn Suspect
2-15-2008 Pennsylvania:

LEVITTOWN, Pa. -- The top Bucks County prosecutor said FBI agents were justified when they fatally shot a child pornography suspect during a standoff at his home.

District Attorney Michelle Henry said Darius Hill was holding a loaded handgun and had lowered it toward the agents during the Jan. 28 raid.

The agents eventually shot the 39-year-old Hilltown Township man in the heart.

Investigators found that Hill then shot himself in the mouth. Henry said the agents thought he was returning fire, so they fired six more shots at him.

The agents had been at the home looking for child pornography but Hill had refused to surrender and held the gun to his chin and mouth for about 10 minutes. ..more.. by

No comments: