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Mandatory life sentence for child sex

David M. HillA Macclenny man convicted by a jury in March on multiple counts of sexual battery with a child was given the mandatory life sentence in circuit court here on August 28.

The sentencing of David Hill, 38, had been postponed post-trial after his public defense counsel George Nelson filed a motion for a new trial based on alleged statements made by the victim in the case after she testified.

Judge Phyllis Rosier denied the motion.

Mr. Hill, who has no criminal past, was arrested in March, 2011 after he failed a voice analysis test. He denied to sheriff’s investigators allegations made by the victim, then a BCHS student, that he raped her on a regular basis for a decade.

The victim, who testified at the trial, recounted how Mr. Hill physically abused her, threatened her if she revealed anything about their relationship and abused her pets over the years before her friends coaxed her into telling a school official about it.

The court threw out a single count of lewd or lascivious battery, and the jury took a half hour following the day and a half trial before returning guilty verdicts on four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child less than 12 years old and another charge of tampering with the victim-witness.

On the last count, the state presented evidence that Mr. Hill attempted via phone to get the victim to back off the allegations.

The defendant, a maintenance man at a local motel, did not testify in his defense.

Melvin T. Mann


In another case that day that resulted in a prison sentence, Melvin (Rusty) Mann, 30, of Sanderson was given a three-year sentence after pleading to multiple counts including manufacturing methamphetamine.

The defendant was arrested in mid-December, 2011 driving what was described as a “mobile meth lab” through Glen St. Mary.

He had three small children in the vehicle with him, and the August 28 plea included charges of child neglect and child cruelty.

Mr. Mann was stopped by a county deputy who knew he was driving without a license, and while the officer was behind him he slid out of the driver’s seat into the back while another male moved over behind the wheel, further endangering the children.

Also in the vehicle were potentially dangerous ingredients used to make meth.

Mr. Mann was a criminal past that includes forgery, grand theft, drug possession and traffic offenses.

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