A Jefferson County Circuit Court jury Tuesday night rejected the defense’s contention that a woman charged with murder had mental issues that caused her to kill her husband for watching pornography.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said Wednesday morning that the jury convicted Patricia Ann Hill of second-degree murder in the July 28, 2018, shooting death of her husband, Frank Hill, 65, who was found inside a shed in the back of the home the couple shared on Donaldson Lane.
He was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Patricia Hill was sentenced to 16 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
She had pleaded not guilty, and Little Rock attorney Bill James, who represented her, said that when Frank Hill had a pornographic channel reconnected on Dish Network after she had cut it off, “she lost her mind.”
Hunter said that after the guilty verdict was announced, James asked for a mistrial because of an issue involving a piece of evidence.
“We objected, and while Judge (Alex) Guynn was considering the motion, both sides agreed on a 16-year sentence,” Hunter said. “The defense then withdrew their motion for a mistrial.”
Testimony at the trial indicated that when Patricia Hill got the satellite bill for July, she saw that her husband had re-added the pornographic channel, and she “flew into a rage” and went to the shed, which Frank Hill used as a “man cave.”
While there, she confronted him about the pornography, knocking over a table that contained his beer, cigarettes and other items.
She then went back into the house and retrieved a pistol, then returned to the shed, where she shot Frank Hill twice, once in the right knee, then in the head. Patricia Hill then went back inside the house to call police and an ambulance.
Patricia Hill testified on Tuesday that she did not know she had fatally shot her husband, as he was bent down picking up the items that had been knocked to the floor. James said that she was evaluated by a physician after the murder and that she was found to have had a brief moment of “disassociation,” which caused her to “snap.”
Hunter said that after Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Juneau and Deputy Prosecutor Holden Raines presented their case, James moved for a directed verdict, contending that the state had not proved its case. However, Guynn rejected that contention, saying that the state had presented sufficient evidence for the trial to go forward.
The judge said Patricia Hill had been charged with capital murder, but prosecutors were also obligated to present all the lesser included charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter, and the jury selected second-degree murder.
“We’re satisfied that the jury considered all the evidence and we were able to resolve this case and bring some closure to the family,” Hunter said.
Patricia Hill has been in jail since being arrested and will receive almost nine months of jail time credit. She will be required to serve half of her sentence but could reduce that to one-quarter if she earns all the good time she will be eligible for, meaning that would be eligible to apply for parole in just over three years.