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Wicomico Sheriff blames deputy's death on "revolving door" of Maryland's criminal justice system

Wicomico Sheriff blames deputy's death on "revolving door" of Maryland's criminal justice system
Posted at 1:33 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 14:22:22-04

SALISBURY, Md. — In a fiery press conference, Wicomico County Sheriff Michael Lewis placed blame on the "revolving door" of Maryland's criminal justice system for the line of duty death of deputy Glenn Hilliard.

The Sheriff's Office said Hilliard was shot and killed Sunday night, while trying to arrest a man wanted on four warrants out of Baltimore City and Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties.

Austin Davidson, 20, was first spotted coming out of the Talbot Street Apartments in Pittsville, which is about 20 miles away from Ocean City.

After a brief foot pursuit, Davidson allegedly turned and shot Hilliard who was giving chase.

"The deputy never got an opportunity to get his gun out of his holster," said Lewis.

RELATED: Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy dies after being shot in the line of duty

Davidson was located two hours later, about half-a-mile away from the scene, by Maryland State and Natural Resources Police. A handgun equipped with a laser was located nearby. The incident was captured on body worn camera, according to Lewis.

Hilliard, a husband and father of three, would have celebrated his 42nd birthday on June 22. He was an 18-year law enforcement veteran, who spent the last 10-years with the Sheriff's Office, and prior to that the Crisfield and Berlin Police departments.

His widow reportedly told Governor Larry Hogan that, "he died doing what he loved."

deputy glenn hilliard.jpg

Davidson had previously been convicted in 2019 for an armed robbery at a Baltimore City McDonald's.

He reportedly received probation before judgment. "Had he still been incarcerated, where he belonged, our deputy would still be with us here today," said Lewis.

Since then, Lewis said Davidson has "wreaked hell all over the lower Eastern Shore."

"We must hold people accountable, until we do these crimes will continue to occur," said Lewis. "This is not a gun issue, this is a behavioral issue, individuals who are not held accountable here in the state of Maryland for their crimes will continue to offend."

Austin Davidson
Austin Davidson

Hogan also attended the news conference, echoing Lewis' remarks.

"Someone like this should not have been out on the streets," said Hogan. "Especially the judges in Baltimore City letting people out, the fact that this guy was out with not serving any jail time for an armed robbery is just unacceptable."

Hilliard is the first Wicomico County Sheriff's deputy killed in the line-of-duty since December of 1968.

Davidson is currently being held without bail on a slew of charges including for first and second degree murder.