A mother and two children are facing attempted first-degree murder charges following an incident on Big Hill Road in Liberty on March 16.
Mary V. Hill, James W. Hill and Charlotte M. Hill, all of 4641 Pea Ridge Rd., Liberty, are also charged with aggravated arson and especially aggravated robbery.
All three are being held at the Cannon County Jail under bonds of $2.5 million.
According to Cannon County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Anthony Young, the Hills were in the process of moving from the home of Lonnie Estes on Big Hill Rd., to 4641 Pea Ridge Road when “an argument ensued over sheets and towels.”
“Mr. Estes said that James Hill hit him with his (Estes’) walking cane,” Investigator Young said. “It broke, then he (Hill) hit Estes with a chair, knocking him to the kitchen floor. Estes said James Hill then went outside, got a gallon milk jar of gasoline, came back inside and threw it on the kitchen floor and set it on fire.”
Estes said the three Hills then left the residence, taking his wallet in the process.
Investigator Young said Estes, 68, made it out of the house, and called 911. Deputy Randy Neal responded to the call. Upon arrival Deputy Neal spoke with Estes, learned what had happened to him, and called for investigators to come to the scene.
Investigator Young responded and arrived in time to ride in the ambulance with Estes to DeKalb County Hospital and obtain a statement.
Estes was treated for a severe laceration to his head and also for multiple bruises to his face and body and released.
The arson and bomb squad was called in to investigate the fire, which caused extensive damage to the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the residence.
Investigator Young said he then returned to the scene and obtained statements from friends and neighbors of Estes and the began searching for the Hills.
“We put out a BOLO and then initiated an area-wide search. They were found within 12 hours. After initially leaving the county, they returned to the residence on Pea Ridge Rd. and were apprehended there,” Investigator Young said.
In addition to Investigator Young and Deputy Neal, Sheriff Darrell Young, and deputies Reed Bryson, Eric Moss and Brandon Mims were involved in the investigation and search for the Hills.
Investigator Young also credited Cannon County 911 dispatchers Kim Hall and Koni Graves for their assistance in the investigation.
“Because of the quick response and professionalism of the dispatchers there was a flawless flow of information that helped solve this case,” Investigator Young said.
The Hills are scheduled to make their initial appearance in Cannon County General Sessions Court on June 6.