Former Prisoner Worried Prater Inquiry May Send Him Back To Jail

Friday, August 10th 2012, 10:09 pm
By: News 9

A man released early from prison is waiting to see what the governor and the Board of Pardon and Parole decides on his case, this after Oklahoma County DA David Prater called into question his case, along with the cases of 50 other inmates.

Walter Lee Hill Jr. was released in June, after both the board and the governor granted him an early release. He was stunned and grateful for the second chance. Now he wonders if it will be ripped away.

"I'm not afraid of anything because God says do not fear," said Hill.

 Hill spent seven and a half years in prison after he was convicted of breaking into a woman's home and stealing from her while she was inside.

"When the officer came in I was at the front door with my hands up," Hill recalled.

Hill admits drugs led him to make certain mistakes in his past, but says he's done his time and turned his life around.

"If I could go back one day and just apologize to her, [I] regret what happened that day," Hill said.

Now he and his family wait to see if the firestorm surrounding the letter from Prater to the Board of Pardon and Parole about them possibly violating the Open Meetings Act will affect his case. The DA has asked for Hill's and 50 other inmates early release considerations to be made invalid.

"I do have that fear that 2 o'clock in the morning I'm going to get the knock on the door ‘We're here to revoke your freedom,'" said Hill. "The district attorney's opinion is his opinion, but like I say my actions that I've shown since I've been out hopefully and truly this will be taken into consideration."

News 9 has also learned the objection letter was left out of Hill's case file when it went to the governor. It was written by the DA's office back in February to the Board of Pardon and Parole objecting to any sentence modification or commutation.

So while Hill goes about his business, working a new job as a truck driver and trying to be a productive member of society, he waits and he prays.

So far the Department of Corrections has taken no action on Hill's case or any of the other 50 inmates.

Both the governor and the Board of Pardon and Parole have asked for the Attorney General's office to make a ruling on the case.

The board issued a statement saying they were within their constitutional authority to commute certain prison sentences.