The Baton Rouge man who ran over and killed a 12-year-old boy during a police chase last year was convicted in federal court Wednesday on multiple weapon and drug charges from an earlier case, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.
Joshual Hilton, 33, was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana and promethazine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin. A federal jury in Baton Rouge unanimously found Hilton guilty on all counts presented during a two-and-a-half day trial.
Because of Hilton's conviction and a sentencing enhancement due to his previous drug convictions, Hilton faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, Fremin said.
Hilton was attempting to evade Baton Rouge police officers conducting a narcotic investigation on May 31, 2017, when he fatally struck 12-year-old Samuel Lee III, better known as Sammy, on Old Hammond Highway near the intersection with Gloria Drive. After hitting Sammy, Hilton stopped and surrendered to police.
Before the fatal crash, he had been free on a total of $435,000 bail. After the crash, Hilton was arrested on counts of manslaughter, reckless operation and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Those counts are pending in state district court.
In the federal case, Fremin said Hilton distributed drugs from a Baton Rouge neighborhood near Sherwood Forest Boulevard, which is not far from where Sammy was killed. When officers searched Hilton's Silverest Drive home on Sept. 22, 2016, they found two kilograms of methamphetamine, over five pounds of marijuana and 20 bottles of promethazine syrup. They also seized a stolen and loaded semi-automatic pistol and over $36,000 in drug proceeds, according to the press release.
“The evidence clearly showed that Mr. Hilton is an unrepentant drug dealer who continued to ply a very dangerous trade in our community," Fremin said in the news release.