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Hill pleads guilty even as jury deliberates his fate

A Comanche County jury began deliberations shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the second-degree murder trial for Issac Kane Hill.

As they neared their fourth hour in sequestration, Hill entered an amended plea of guilty before District Judge Scott D. Meaders to a charge of second-degree manslaughter for the 2017 shooting death of Dalton Freiheit, 21.

Following the recommendation of First Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka, the 22-year-old Hill was sentenced to serve four years in prison and to pay a $1,000 fine.

As the plea was entered and sentence ordered, there were only tears and looks of sorrow on the faces of family and friends of Freiheit and Hill. After being handcuffed by Sheriff Kenny Stradley, family members gave Hill final hugs before he was to be taken to the Comanche County Detention Center. Outside the courtroom, Freiheit’s family gathered together.

The plea followed a day begun with Hill’s testimony in his defense. A new story was told as to what led to the death of 21-year-old Dalton Freiheit. It allowed the prosecution to gain inroads with the case.

Hill’s attorney, John Zelbst called his client to the witness stand. After establishing the bonds of friendship between Hill and Freiheit, the lawyer led Hill back to the night of Sept. 2, 2017, and morning of Sept. 3, 2017.

A situation at Hill’s house where between 25 to 30 people were partying evolved when a “big guy” who Hill said had jumped Freiheit the week before, led to him chambering a bullet in his .45 caliber Glock 30 handgun and putting the gun in his waistband. It was the first mention in any testimony of Freiheit being assaulted previously. It offered reason to be armed, according to Hill.

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