The former Mattie Lively Elementary School administrator who was charged with Simple Battery on a seven-year-old student has pleaded guilty.
Patrick Morse Hill was arrested by investigators with the Statesboro Police Department back in November 2022 following an investigation into an incident at Mattie Lively Elementary School in Bulloch County. Hill was working as an Assistant Principal at the school at the time. Warrants indicated Hill was charged with the misdemeanor offense after he “caused physical harm to a seven-year-old” by “throwing him down on a bench causing a small abrasion to the knuckle area.”
When the case made its way to State Court, the accusation included two counts of Simple Battery – one for throwing the student on the bench and a second for leaving the abrasion on the student’s hand.
Under Georgia law, Simple Battery is a misdemeanor defined as either:
- Intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or
- Intentionally causes physical harm to another.
The school system reported to TGV News that the incident occurred while Hill was attempting to discipline the student. At the time, the school system released a statement on Hill saying:
The school district immediately conducted a thorough investigation and reported the incident to the proper authorities.The school district has cooperated fully with law enforcement.
Based on firsthand witness statements and a review of available surveillance footage, the superintendent did decide to seek termination and non-renewal of the administrator’s employment contract.
On September 5, Hill entered a guilty plea in Bulloch County State Court. The plea was for one of the charges of Simple Battery and the second charge ‘merged’ into Count 1. Hill was sentenced with the following conditions:
- 180 days in jail – all of which are suspended (meaning he will not serve any of the days unless he violates other terms of his sentence)
- 12 months probation
- 40 hours of community service
- $500 fine + any additional add-on fines due to the state
- No alcohol or drugs that are not prescribed by a physician
- Anger management course
- A stay away order from the victim and the victim’s family
- No possession of firearms and he must surrender his Weapons Carry Permit, if he has one
- 10 day suspension of his teaching license (for which he received credit for this already having been served)
The sentence will be subject to First Offender Act conditions, meaning upon completion of the terms of the sentence, the conviction will not appear on Hill’s record. The FOA is an alternative form of sentencing used for people without a criminal history and are not charged with a violent crime or DUI. Individuals who successfully complete their sentence under this program can have the adjudication sealed from their criminal history report. The First Offender Act still leaves sentencing parameters up to the judge after considering the circumstances of the case and the character of the accused. More importantly, FOA sentencing is a one-time opportunity.