Son Set for Trial for Stabbing Mother 5 Times – Victim, Deputy Testify in Attempted Murder Preliminary Hearing


By Catherine Hamilton

RIVERSIDE, CA –The victim and a responding deputy testified testified here in Riverside County Superior Court Tuesday during the preliminary hearing of Mario Tino Hill, charged with the February 2021 stabbing of his mother five times with a knife before being restrained by his sisters.

Deputy Public Defender Melissa McConaghay asked Hill’s mother what events had transpired before the attack. His mother said that Hill had been helping set up a bed in the house, but there had been no argument between them.

She also said he was talking to the wall that night, but, when asked by PD McConaghay if she had asked him what he was doing, she said that she had not because everything was happening too fast.

His mother additionally testified that she felt it was an out-of-character action from Hill, and that it hit her completely by surprise.

PD McConaghay brought up an incident that had happened 25 years prior, where there was an act of violence and the police were called. There had been no argument leading up to that incident, either, she said.

However, Hill’s mother said that “he did tell [her] he was hearing voices” of family members saying “that they wanted to kill him.”

Hill’s mother was excused from the witness stand, and Deputy District Attorney Maureen DuMouchel called Deputy Alan Avila to the stand.

Deputy Avila is a police officer of four years currently with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. He was called to the scene of the incident.

DDA DuMouchel asked Deputy Avila to recount the injuries that the victim sustained before Hill was stopped. He said that she had five total: one to her abdomen, one to her left breast, two to her left arm, and one to her right arm. He said that she had to have surgery.

Deputy Avila also asked why the victim did not tell Deputy Avila that she thought, as noted earlier, her son was possessed.

PD McConaghay asked what Hill’s mother had said happened before the incident took place. Deputy Avila said she never told him about his talking to the wall, and had told him she thought he was probably drinking.

According to Deputy Avila, she gestured to eight empty beer bottles in the house, saying that he had drunk them all that day.

However, Deputy Avila also said that there was no psychiatric examination done of Hill, even with the information from 25 years ago and his talking to the wall.

PD McConaghay asked Judge Timothy Hollenhorst to dismiss the charge of premeditated attempted murder, citing his possible mental health issues.

Judge Hollenhorst, while acknowledging the special circumstances of the case, disagreed that there was no evidence of premeditation, noting that Hill had to go get a knife before stabbing his mother.

The judge then found Hill should stand trial, and set arraignment on the charges and trial-setting for Feb. 24.


About The Author

Catherine is a freshman at UCLA, double majoring in English and Political Science. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.

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