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Old 08-08-2018, 12:34 PM
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Default Negro in Pensacola rape, kidnapping faced murder charge in 2014 before case was dropped


Suspect in Pensacola rape, kidnapping faced murder charge in 2014 before case was dropped
Updated 11:53 a.m. CT Aug. 8, 2018

The suspect in a downtown Pensacola kidnapping and rape was previously charged in a violent murder, but the case was dropped due to evidence issues.

Corey Antwone Hill, 35, was charged in 2014 for the murder of Alfred L. Watson two years prior,
but the charges were dropped in 2015 when the state ruled the evidence against him wasn’t strong enough.

Hill was booked into the Escambia County Jail early Wednesday morning for allegedly following a female victim from bar to bar on Palafox Street the morning of Aug. 6 and later sexually assaulting her.

Pensacola Police Department spokesman Mike Wood said police believe Hill waited until the woman was unconscious and a male friend went to get his vehicle to take her home, then Hill carried her to his own car and drove away.

The woman called the police the next morning saying she had been sexually assaulted, but she could not describe the suspect. Police spoke with the male friend who could describe the suspect, and police released surveillance video of the suspect from the Baylen Street parking garage, which led to tips that identified Hill as the man in the video.

Hill was arrested in March 2014 on suspicion of murder and was extradited from Tampa to Escambia County to face the charge. Escambia County Sheriff’s Office investigators at the time wouldn’t release the victim's cause of death, saying only that he died of “an extreme act of violence,” according to News Journal archives.

State Attorney’s Office documents say Hill’s DNA was on a 2-by-4 found near where the victim’s body was found in the area of Wentworth and West Maxwell streets. Initial reports said the victim had splinters in his throat and face that would be consistent with the 2-by-4, according to the report, but that information was later found not to be accurate.

While Hill’s DNA was found on the piece of wood, his DNA was excluded as a contributor from DNA found on the victim’s body, including on his shoes, his genitals and under his fingernails.

Because of that, the state said in documents dropping the prosecution that it could not determine that Hill’s DNA was left at the scene at the time of the murder. There were also legal issues based on the standard that applies when a case is based solely on circumstantial evidence.

Wood, the PPD spokesman, said in a Wednesday morning press conference that Hill was the suspect in two other sexual-related cases, but the evidence in each of those cases was not strong enough to pursue charges. In 2016, a massage parlor employee said Hill made her uncomfortable by demanding a sexual encounter at the store, and in 2017 Hill allegedly waited in a wooded area on Summit Boulevard to accost female runners as they went by him.
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