Man accused of trying to kill sheriff, judge in court
By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
TRENTON, DADE COUNTY (WRCB) – Hillard Stevens is no stranger to the law.
He has been accused of stabbing animals and most recently, threatening Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon.
"He described the sheriff in very abstract terms that sometimes didn't make a lot of sense," says GBI Agent Daniel Sims.
Sims observed an interview of Hillard Stevens shortly after the police chase that landed him in handcuffs on August 24th.
In the front seat of his truck, a loaded 9 millimeter handgun and 300 shotgun shells in the passenger's seat..
"He had a list that he called 'the miranda list,'" says Sims.
On his list, Sheriff Patrick Cannon and other public officials.
Sheriff Patrick Cannon says Hillard Stevens camped outside an officer's home, made a list of deputies he intended to kill and spent the day of the chase watching a Magistrate's office, instead of reporting to his probation officer.
As Stevens talked around town, word got to Cannon he had bought a gun and wanted to "blow up" Cannon.
"If nothing else this man needs serious help," says Sheriff Cannon.
Cannon admits he thinks Stevens has mental problems but is convinced he knows what he is doing.
Agent Sims agrees.
"I believe that he knew what he was saying and that he knew what he was doing, and that conveyed that information to us," says Agent Sims.
Stevens has a history of trouble with the law. Since 2009 he has been charged with animal cruelty multiple times.
Police say he stabbed two dogs a couple years ago, killing one of them.
A search of his property turned up nearly 30 other dead animals.
Two months later he was arrested for killing chickens.
Then in January of this year, Stevens was arrested again when skeletal remains and malnourished goats were found on his property.
Stevens' attorney tried to convince the judge to drop the terroristic threat charge, saying there is no proof Stevens was ever going to act.
But the judge did not buy it.
"The seriousness was there to proceed forward with this case as charged on Mr. Stevens," says Whitfield County Magistrate Chris Griffin.
Sheriff Cannon is glad Stevens is behind bars and is anxious to see where the case goes from here.
"I'm personally wanting it to go as far as it can possible go and Mr. Stevens to get as much time as he possibly can," says Cannon.
Since Judge McCormick is also involved in this case, the magistrate from Whitfield County was brought in for this Stevens' hearing.
Stevens never appeared in court. He was acting up, and his attorney said Stevens did not want to be there.
Now the case goes to Superior Court and we will continue to follow it.