A judge in Boston ruled that police did not have probable cause in the arrest of a twice-convicted killer, forcing prosecutors to drop weapons and robbery charges against him. The ruling came only a few days after paroled “triple-lifer” Dominic Cinelli allegedly gunned down and killed police officer John “Jack” McQuire in suburban Woburn.
Gerald Hill, 48, was convicted of second degree murder in 1978, while awaiting trial on a fatal 1977 stabbing incident. He was released from prison on parole in Sept. 2009.
On November 9, 2009, Hill was spotted by police officer George Dias, running erratically down a street with a shopping bag and dodging cars, when he jumped in the back of a taxi and slumped down.
Dias left his post upon hearing of a robbery at the Boston Cab Co. and possible shots fired — when he spotted Hill. Dias approached the taxi with two backup officers, at which time Hill briefly pulled a gun on the officers. In the back of the taxi with Hill was $21,000 in cash, plastic zip ties and two handguns.
In his ruling, Judge Mitchell H. Kaplan found that Dias was acting on a “hunch” when he decided to pursue Hill for “some manner of illicit conduct that warranted further investigation, but did not have a reasonable suspicion based on specific facts.”
Without being able to use any of the evidence, Suffolk County prosecutors decided to drop the case.
A police spokesperson said “We respect the judge’s decision, but clearly the officer had excellent instincts and did commendable work.”
Even though the charges were tossed out, Hill remains in jail on separate charges of parole violation.