At the New York City’s Manhattan Detention Complex (also known as “The Tombs), Ryan Wilson, 29 years-old, hung himself last November with a bedsheet secured to a light fixture.
According to a grand jury on Monday, Rebecca Hillman, 39, and Department of Corrections captain, allegedly watched as Wilson hanged himself for 15 minutes. Hillman was also charged with criminally negligent homicide and filing false reports, which are both considered felonies.
CBS New York had also reported that other correction officers had testified against Hillman during the proceedings.
In a statement made by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, he said:
“As alleged in the indictment, the death of Ryan Wilson wasn’t just a tragedy—-it was a crime. Our investigation shows that Captain Hillman ordered her subordinates not to take potentially life-saving measures to help Mr. Wilson and failed to call for medical assistance expediently.”
Margaret Garnett, New York City Department of Investigations Commissioner also added:
“The charges resulting from this investigation reveal a stunning disregard for life and Correction Department regulations, made more egregious by the fact that the defendant is a supervisor with the rank of Captain.”
Meanwhile, Hillman has put in a not guilty plea to the felony charges, with her lawyer adding that she’s “a hard-working mother and employee who did her very best in a difficult job that is defined by trauma and tragedy.”
Prior to his death, Wilson had put in a request for transfer to a different unit fearing for his safety. After a fight and threats of retaliation from other inmates, according to his lawyer Benjain Pinczweski in a statement made to the Washington Post. His request was denied.