Gloversville man acquitted in stabbing case

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Justin R. Hill, of Gloversville, pictured at a court appearance last October, was acquitted Friday on charges of second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a deadly weapon, both class D felonies, in connection with the alleged stabbing of a man on Yale Street on Oct. 7, 2019. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

JOHNSTOWN — A Gloversville man was acquitted Friday in a Fulton County Court jury trial of two felonies in a case in which a man was stabbed seven times.

Justin R. Hill, 32, of 108 Yale St., was found innocent in a week-long trial before Judge Polly A. Hoye of felony counts of second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Defense attorney Kyle Davis said Friday that the jury felt his client was trying to defend himself in the Oct. 7, 2019 stabbing incident.

“The jury decided it was self-defense,” he said.

Davis said Hill is “extremely grateful” for the outcome of the case, which was the first County Court trial since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The attorney said his client did stab his sister’s boyfriend seven times in various parts of his body, but it was self-defense.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Nellis prosecuted the case.

District Attorney Chad Brown said Friday, “It was a self-defense case, in some regards.” But he said the jury may also have felt the prosecution didn’t meet the “standard of proof” to convict Hill of the two felonies. He said the victim – who testified — has fully recovered from his stab wounds. He said it involved a “family case” in which the victim had to be taken to Albany Medical Center.

“Anytime it’s self-defense, it’s a little complicated,” Brown stated.

He said because it was a COVID trial, it was “clearly different” and a “little unique” for a trial for Nellis to prosecute.

“The jury went through a lot,” Brown said.

Hill was accused of stabbing another man multiple times following an argument. He was initially charged by Gloversville police of second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a deadly weapon, both class D felonies, on Oct. 7, 2019 around 9:05 p.m.

Police responded to Hill’s Yale Street home for a reported stabbing and located a male victim with multiple stab wounds upon arrival. The man was transported to Albany Medical Center for treatment and was released as of Oct. 9, 2019.

Hill and the victim were known to one another and police say the men were arguing before Hill allegedly stabbed the other man. Hill was taken into custody immediately following the incident and was arraigned on the charges against him in Gloversville City Court the following morning on Oct. 8, 2019.

According to the felony complaints filed by city police against Hill in City Court, Hill had in his possession a “fixed blade Coleman knife” at the time of the incident that he used “with intent to cause serious physical injury” to stab the male victim multiple times in the upper torso and lower extremities.

“The defendant’s actions caused several puncture wounds and lacerations to the victim which required immediate medical attention,” the complaint had stated.

Additionally, the complaints originally stated that through his possession of the knife, referred to as a “dangerous instrument,” Hill “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly” committed the offense of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon due to a prior City Court conviction for endangering the welfare of a child on Oct. 12, 2016.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Paul Wager