With a lengthy and violent criminal record to his name, Pachino Hill is going to church.
Hill, 29, of Davenport was sentenced Wednesday by Scott County Associate Judge Christine Dalton to a counseling program offered by Third Missionary Baptist Church. She also ordered him to attend church there eight consecutive Sundays, to pay a fine and be on probation for one year.
If he doesn’t comply, he faces up to two years in prison for eluding and driving while barred. The charges are the result of a police chase from Rock Island to Davenport in October.
“Let’s give it a shot,” Dalton said of the counseling program plan presented to her by Hill’s attorney, Brenda Drew-Peeples, and supported by Rogers Kirk, pastor at Third Missionary. “I’m all about one more chance.”
The counseling program, Drew-Peeples said, is a chance for Hill to gain role models who are responsible men and are contributing to society.
“I believe God has a plan for Pachino Hill’s life, and I believe it’s coming to fruition,” she said.
Prosecutor Marc Gellerman did not object to the counseling program but did request that Hill attend church services.
“I would think that listening to Rev. Kirk every Sunday would be very beneficial for Mr. Hill,” Gellerman said, adding that Hill reaching out to Kirk “says a lot.”
Hill agreed to the counseling program and to attending church. Kirk will report to the court on Hill’s progress. A hearing is set for May 21.
However, Hill also faces charges in connection with the incident in Rock Island County. A plea hearing is set for today. Prosecutor Margaret Osborn will request jail time, she said.
Hill was driving a car with a broken headlight one night in October, down Fifth Street in Rock Island, testified Rock Island County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Chisholm. Chisholm turned around and attempted to stop the Dodge Neon that Hill was driving. Instead, Hill took off and headed for the Centennial Bridge.
Hill and Chisholm crossed the bridge, turned right onto 2nd Street in downtown Davenport, up Main Street, over to Brady Street and then onto 12th Street.
Chisholm lost sight of Hill and his passenger in his car. As he turned onto 12th Street, approaching Pershing Avenue, he spotted Hill and his passenger running from an alley. Police later recovered the Neon parked behind a house in the alley.
Chisholm chased the two on foot, east toward Iowa Avenue. Chisholm used his Taser to bring Hill to the ground. Hill was then arrested.
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Hill was charged when he was 14 years old with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Lawrence Brown Johnson. He was accused of giving the gun used in the shooting to Clyde Edwards Jr.
Hill pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and terrorism. Hill was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
At the time, then-Scott County Attorney Bill Davis said: "If we had gone to trial and if Pachino were convicted of first-degree murder, he would have gotten life in prison." He thought that considering Hill's young age, the plea was appropriate.
"This is one of the few chances we get to do some good. We have two young men who still will have a chance at life if they decide to do some good," Davis said at the time.
In December 2002, Hill was one of three men charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at a Davenport police officer. One of those bullets missed the head of the Cpl. Dennis Colclasure by six inches, police investigators said.
A lack of evidence caused Scott County prosecutors to drop those charges. Hill was convicted of possessing a firearm as a felon in connection with that incident, but a judge later ruled the evidence insufficient to charge him with any offense and dismissed the case.
In October 2004, Hill was arrested for helping Bryan Mitchell of Davenport leave the area of the fatal shooting of Grayling Church, 20, of Davenport. He also was accused of concealing the weapon and keeping witnesses from giving statements. He was found not guilty of that charge.
In March 2006, Hill was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a 28-year-old man in the thigh. He pleaded guilty to assault resulting in bodily injury and was sentenced to one year probation and a $250 fine.
It wasn’t long before Hill began being arrested again.
He was charged with child endangerment in April 2006, on a drug charge in July 2006 and a domestic assault charge in August 2006. That charge prompted a police search because he fled after hitting a former girlfriend in the forehead with a bottle and slashing two tires on her car.
He received probation for the child endangerment and drug charges. The domestic assault case was dismissed.
In July 2007, he led police on a chase during a traffic enforcement effort on the Centennial Bridge. He pleaded guilty to driving while barred and received probation. His probation was revoked because of the most recent chase. If he does not complete the terms of the sentenced imposed Wednesday, eight months will be added to the two-year prison sentence.
Ann McGlynn can be contacted at (563) 383-2336 or email@example.com.