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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

[LA] A brotherhood favor left Deputy Hilman alone when he needed someone most

...The suit, which names Sheriff Larry Deen and six deputies who had dealings with Hilman before his death, alleges Hilman should have been taken into custody because he was suicidal and should have been evaluated by a mental health professional...

DEPUTY'S WIDOW FILES SUIT OVER HIS SUICIDE
KTBS, LA
February 3, 2009
The widow of a Bossier Parish sheriff's deputy who committed suicide has filed a wrongful death suit against the Sheriff's Department, alleging they knew he was suicidal and did nothing to prevent it. Deputy Clay Hilman shot himself on Jan. 31, 2008, at his home in Bossier Parish. It happened after Hilman, who had a history of emotional instability and disciplinary action at the Sheriff's Department, had threatened suicide. The night before he died, Hilman had barricaded himself in his home by putting a tractor against the front door and and a four-wheeler against the back door. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Shreveport by Kim Crow Hilman, alleges Sheriff's Department supervisors left Hilman in the care of a neighbor after that incident. The neighbor, who did not know the deputy was suicidal, was eventually asked by Hilman to go home and he shot himself a short time later, the lawsuit alleges.The suit, which names Sheriff Larry Deen and six deputies who had dealings with Hilman before his death, alleges Hilman should have been taken into custody because he was suicidal and should have been evaluated by a mental health professional. Deen did not address the specifics of the lawsuit but said Hilman's death was a tragedy. "Clay Hilman was a great personal friend and respected deputy sheriff," Deen said. "Clay's family, including his aunt, Hazel Beard (former mayor of Shreveport) and his father, a former deputy sheriff in Webster Parish, hold a place of high regard in my heart. This tragic loss left all of us at the Bossier Sheriff's Office deeply saddened." [Article here]

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