On Monday, September 11, 2018, at approximately 1:15 AM, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 33000 block of North Evergreen Drive in Warren Township for a suspicious vehicle. A resident in the area reported a vehicle in the backyard of their home and a male subject walking nearby.
Upon their arrival, Sheriff’s Deputies located an unoccupied white Ford F350 with crash damage in the yard between two homes, in the area of North Evergreen Drive and West Timber Lane. Both homes had fresh damage on their exteriors from the Ford 350.
As Sheriff’s Deputies were searching the area for the vehicle’s driver, the Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Center received a call from James R. Hilliard, 28, of the 18000 block of Orchard Lane, Warren Township. Hilliard reported he had been ‘carjacked’ at a Warren Township bar during which his white Ford 350 was stolen. Hilliard met with Sheriff’s Deputies at a nearby residence.
Through further investigation, Sheriff’s Deputies determined Hilliard was the driver of the white Ford F350 when it struck the residences on North Evergreen Drive and West Timber Lane. Sheriff’s Deputies further determined Hilliard fled the scene after the crash and he was not the victim of a carjacking as he reported.
Hilliard was placed under arrest and transported to the Lake County Jail and subsequently charged with the following offenses:
Criminal Damage to Property (Class 4 Felony)
Disorderly Conduct- False Report of an Offense (Class 4 Felony)
Criminal Damage to Property (Class A Misdemeanor)
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (Class A Misdemeanor)
Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (Civil Violation)
Illegal Transportation of Alcohol
Numerous other traffic offenses
Hilliard was released from the Lake County Jail after posting 10% of his $20,000.00 bond. He is next due in court on September 18, 2018 at 9:00 AM in courtroom T110.
Sheriff Curran reminds the public the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.