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Attorneys for suspect in deadly police pursuit release statement

6 months 1 week 1 day ago Thursday, June 08 2017 Jun 8, 2017 June 08, 2017 7:49 PM June 08, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – The suspect accused of running over a child during a police chase through a residential area recently faces additional charges and new jail information further explains the chaos that unfolded at both the beginning and deadly end of the chase.

The suspect, Joshual Hilton, now faces drug and obstruction of justice charges related to the pursuit and the original drug sting where the situation began.

WBRZ and WBRZ.com previously reported exclusive details of the pursuit and the latest documents uncovered by the WBRZ Investigative Unit support and expand upon the news department's original reporting.

Authorities said they were watching a suspected drug house at 5123 Berryville Court for suspects who they believed were supplying some of the city's crystal meth dealers. Hilton was seen leaving the house, investigators wrote in new arrest documents filed at the jail.

Officers in unmarked police cars followed Hilton from Berryville Court to a stoplight near the Walmart on O'Neal South of I-12. While stopped at the light, officers attempted to block Hilton into his lane, and apprehend him. As WBRZ.com first reported, Hilton attempted to drive away. His pickup drove in the direction of an officer standing nearby, so another Baton Rouge Police officer opened fire, hitting Hilton in the back as he was in the driver's seat of the truck. The officer was knocked to the hood of the truck but got off as Hilton sped up O'Neal, under the interstate and toward Old Hammond.

Officers wrote in the report, they pursued him toward Old Hammond and saw Hilton toss drugs out the window of the truck. As they followed, Hilton made a left onto Old Hammond where a few blocks later he hit and killed 12-year-old Samuel Lee, police wrote.

Hilton stopped after hitting the child and police arrested him on the side of the highway.

Authorities said there was drugs in the truck and they also recovered more crystal meth from the side of the streets, believed to have been tossed there as Hilton tried to speed away from authorities.

State Police are handling the investigation since it involves a local police officer firing a weapon.

Hilton's attorneys released a statement on his behalf, suggesting their client is innocent and did not hit the victim. The statement continues to dispute the drug charges, saying "as it relates to the additional drug offenses that Josh has been chraged with, we question the timing of these charges and why it has taken over a week to charge him with these crimes."

The statement continues by offering condolences to the victim's family, saying "it is easy to rush to judgment when we have a cast as tragic and emotional as this one. We offer our condolences on behalf of our office and our client to Sammy's family."

Lee's funeral is this weekend.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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