A suspect who has been charged with the murder of Hyram Hill, the son of a Philadelphia police officer who was murdered in January of this year, was in court twice in the four days after allegedly shooting Hill, according to court documents. In both cases, the court allowed him to walk free — once after sentencing him to probation for a previous charge, and once after letting him walk free on $10,000 bail for yet another previous, unrelated charge.
According to KYW-TV, 23-year-old Levar Turner has turned himself into police and has been charged with murder, robbery, and other offenses in connection with the January 24th murder of Hill, which rocked the Philadelphia community. An extremely disturbing surveillance video of the murder was released earlier this week, which played a major role in the identification of Turner as a suspect. A second suspect in the video has not yet been identified and remains at large.
Amazingly, although police have been searching for Turner for almost three months, he was apparently in custody at least twice just in the four days immediately after the shooting, but was released after lenient treatment from the Philadelphia court system.
According to KYW, was in court the very next day after the shooting, on Jan. 25th, to answer for gun charges arising from a February 2020 arrest, but was released after being sentenced to four years’ probation. Just two days later, on January 27th, Turner was arrested in Cheltenham on a gun charge from earlier in January, but he was released on the 29th after posting a mere $10,000 in bail. It was not immediately clear why Turner’s probation was not immediately revoked as a result of this second charge.
Turner reportedly turned himself in to police at around 9:50am on Friday. He was represented by defense attorney Evan Hughes, who insisted that his client is innocent of the charges. “It’s an absolute shame and certainly we feel for the family, but Mr. Turner is innocent,” Hughes said.
Hill, who worked as a bouncer, was shot in the early morning hours of January 24th after he stopped at Maria’s Mini Mart after his work shift. Surveillance video shows two men approach Hill in an apparent robbery attempt. One of the suspects, for unknown reasons, opened fire on Hill with a gun concealed in his pocket. Hill attempted to run, whereupon he was shot by the second suspect. He was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died of his wounds.