Former Chicagoan walks away from federal prison in Atlanta
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org June 6, 2013 6:32PM
Clayton Armstrong Hill walked away from a federal prison camp in Georgia, authorities said.
Updated: July 8, 2013 6:39AM
A former Chicago man who pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud charges — and who claims a weapon used in the long unsolved murder of The Notorious B.I.G. passed through his hands — walked away from a federal prison camp last week, authorities said.
Clayton Armstrong Hill, 43, was sentenced in June, 2011 to seven years and eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, records show. But a U.S. Marshal in Georgia filed an affidavit this week claiming Hill “walked off the grounds” of a federal prison camp May 28 in Atlanta.
U.S. Marshal spokeswoman Gretchen Fortin said Hill was among a group of inmates considered a “low-level” security risk who do maintenance and groundskeeping at the penitentiary.
Those inmates weren’t convicted of violent crimes, Fortin said. And while they’re not supposed to leave the facility walls, she said nothing prevents them from doing so.
“He just simply walked away from the facility,” Fortin said.
A federal grand jury hit Hill and his wife, Tamara Soyini Davidson, with 41 counts of fraud in 2009 claiming the couple prepared 121 false federal income tax returns made out in the names of actual taxpayers.
Davidson also pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud, court records show. The judge handed her a prison sentence of a little more than six months — time the judge ruled Davidson had already served — and put her on a period of supervised release that ended in September.
Hill, meanwhile, complained about the length of his sentence in a court filing last February that’s still pending, and he argued in part that his cooperation with federal prosecutors should have received more consideration.
Hill said he told the FBI and a federal prosecutor in November 2010 how, under orders from Nation of Islam officials, he met with an individual in 1997 and retrieved a weapon that he was told to deliver to another Nation of Islam member.
In the court filing, he said that individual told him the weapon was used in the murder of the late rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, who was shot to death in Los Angeles in 1997.
Hill said he is a former member of the Nation of Islam and was once a mid-level official in its Atlanta mosque.
A representative for the Nation of Islam wouldn’t immediately comment.