Shooter sentenced to 40 years

ALBANY -- Johnny E. Hill Jr. of Albany pleaded guilty Friday to charges stemming from a June 2008 shooting of Albany Police Officer Timothy Harvey.

Hill has been sentenced to 40 years with the first 30 to be spent in the penitentiary for aggravated assault on a peace officer, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and participation in a street gang, said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

Hill accepted a plea deal rather than go to trial and made no comments other than to apologize to his family members who were present during the sentencing.

The district attorney said he was somewhat surprised by Hill's plea.

"We were prepared to go to trial with the case," said Edwards. "We had a pretty good case against Mr. Hill, and I am confidant that we would have won at trial."

Harvey, now a theft investigator with the Albany Police Department, said he is relieved the matter is settled.

"I'm just glad to have it over," he said during a news conference at the Law Enforcement Center. "My family has gone through a lot, and it was rough on them. Now we can all move on."

Harvey was shot in the abdomen by Hill on June 18, 2008 when the officer tried to stop what was described at the time as a suspicious person fleeing down a dark alley near Eighth Avenue.

Harvey was hospitalized for his injuries and spent months in rehabilitation.

"It took a couple of months to get my leg to function normally," he said.

The investigator said he has no hard feelings toward Hill because that is the nature of his profession.

"It's not that he shot Timothy Harvey," said Harvey. "He shot a police officer. When he shot me, it was like he shot everyone that puts on a badge and uniform and goes to work every morning."

The investigator said he still has aches on the left side of his abdomen near the beltline where Hill's bullet hit him.

"I can deal with the pain," he said. "It's not that big of a deal."

Hill was arrested in Camilla a few days after shooting Harvey when APD joined forces with several local, state and federal agencies in a manhunt.

Harvey said he was not surprised when police announced the arrest of Hill.

"I have plenty of confidence in my fellow officers," he said. "I knew they would be able to find him."

Edwards said he is happy with the results of the case.

"It's a good resolution," he said. "People should know that you are going to be required to pay a great amount of time for what he (Hill) did."

APD spokesperson Phyllis Banks-Whitley said the department will now be tasked with dispensing the $2,000 dollar reward that was offered for information about Hill during the search.

"Investigators will now research what individual gave them the most or best information that led to the capture of Hill," she said.