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Jury to decide man’s fate in 2020 Joliet fatal shooting case

Nathaniel Hill

joliet — A jury will decide whether a Crest Hill man is guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting a 32-year-old man about two years ago in Joliet.

On Wednesday morning, jurors heard opening statements from both parties in the trial of Nathaniel Hill, 42, who’s facing charges of killing Derrick Williams-Scott on June 12, 2020, outside of a residence in the 1100 block of Richards Street.

Hill also faces charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon.

Officers found Williams-Scott fatally wounded on the front steps of a Richards Street residence less than six hours before Hill was arrested, according to Joliet police.

During Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Shlifka’s opening statement, he said the state’s evidence would show Hill shot and killed Williams-Scott out of anger during a argument that turned physical and left Williams-Scott to bleed to death at the scene.

“The defendant’s temporary emotion, being angry, ended Derrick’s life,” Shlifka said.

Hill’s attorney, David Drwencke, said Williams-Scott was the aggressor in the incident as he was intoxicated on drugs and alcohol when he threatened Hill and his family and struck him in the head. Drwencke said his client had shot Williams-Scott in self-defense.

“My client was attacked and he defended himself,” Drwencke said.

The incident began about 11:30 p.m. June 11, 2020, when Williams-Scott and his girlfriend, Florine Hale, started arguing at the Richards Street residence. That led to her calling the police, Shlifka said.

Officers arrived, and Williams-Scott agreed to leave the residence and decided to take a ride from a vehicle that arrived later, Shlifka said. Hill was the front seat passenger and his girlfriend, Cassandra Dorris, was the driver, he said.

Shlifka said Dorris knew Hale and arrived at her residence to pick up a phone charger. He said Hill brought a firearm with him that he was not supposed to possess.

When Williams-Scott got inside the vehicle, he got into an argument with Hill and hit him in the head, Shlifka said. Both men got out of the car, and Hill shot him multiple times without justification, the prosecutor said.

Afterward, Hill went back inside the car with Dorris and the two left, Shlifka said. Williams-Scott able to identify Hill as the shooter before his death June 12, 2020, and Hill later admitted to Hale that he shot him, he said.

Drwencke said neither Dorris nor Hale saw what happened to the two men when they left the vehicle.