DOC captain charged after claiming inmate who died by suicide was just 'playing': prosecutors

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Department of Correction captain who allegedly claimed an inmate was “faking it” as he hung himself inside his lower Manhattan jail cell has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, prosecutors said Monday.

Department of Correction Captain Rebecca Hillman, 38, of Brooklyn, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and offering a false instrument for filing in connection with Ryan Wilson’s death last year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a press release Monday afternoon.

Wilson was being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex on Nov. 22 of last year when Hillman had him moved to another housing unit due to an argument with another inmate, prosecutors said.

At some point after he was moved, Wilson used his bedsheet to make a noose, attached it to a light fixture, called a Department of Correction officer to his cell and said he would hang himself if Hillman didn’t release him, the DA’s office said.

When the officer told Hillman what was happening, Hillman “went into the control room, where she began filling out paperwork,” according to the DA’s office.

Ten minutes later, Wilson jumped off of his bed with the noose around his neck, prosecutors said.

When the officer asked Hillman to open the cell door “immediately,” Hillman “emerged from the control room, while the cell door remained shut, and told the other inmates that Mr. Wilson was fine and was ‘playing,’” the DA’s office said.

Hillman asked an officer to open Wilson’s cell door not long after, but told the officer not to enter, “said that Mr. Wilson was faking it because he was still breathing,” and left Wilson hanging inside the cell, according to prosecutors.

“At this point, Hillman called for non-emergency backup and ordered the door closed while Mr. Wilson remained hanging inside of the locked cell,” the DA’s office said. “About 15 minutes after Mr. Wilson jumped, Hillman finally gave the order to open the cell again and called for a medical team.”

The backup officers who arrived started doing chest compressions on Wilson, but when medical responders got there, Wilson had already died, prosecutors said.

In the official report she filed about the Wilson's death, Hillman claimed that she “had the cell door re-opened and had Mr. Wilson cut down ‘immediately’ after the cell door was closed,” the DA’s office said.

Wilson was originally arrested on robbery charges, the Daily News reported.

1010 WINS has reached out to the Department of Correction for comment.