Sister of man killed in downtown Kinston parking lot speaks as the accused suspects could be released from jail

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -The sister of a man in the east, who police say was found severely beaten before later dying from his injuries nearly three years ago, is speaking out as she says the men accused in her brother’s murder could possibly be released from jail next week.

Jennifer Rouse says she’s dealt with a lot of things in her life, but handling the death of her brother Jeffrey Hill has been one of the more difficult situations.

“I have to live with it every day,” Rouse said. “I’m not asking for too much except that justice be served.”

On the night of May 2nd, 2021, Kinston police say they found 58-year-old Hill lying on the ground at a West Gordon Street parking lot, severely beaten.

Rouse says her brother was attacked by two men after leaving a bar then called “The Office” now known as “The Proof” on North Herritage Street.

Kinston police said those two men were 41-year-old Clinton Christmas and 45-year-old Joseph Hughes as they were each charged with assault inflicting serious bodily injury, but were later indicted by a grand jury on first degree murder charges after Hill died from injuries May 11th.

It’s been nearly three years since Hill’s tragic death, but Rouse says their family was told this week by a district attorney in the case that the two men may be released from jail this upcoming Monday.

“We were pretty much told that this was the way it would be, that the grand jury didn’t matter, and that they would have lesser charges,” Rouse said. “For the time served they’ll be getting out.”

Hill left behind two children as well as other family and friends who loved him dearly.

Rouse believes letting the men accused in his death out of the Lenoir County Jail is unacceptable.

“What are we saying for this community when you’re letting people go that’ve killed somebody, who was born and raised in this community,” Rouse said.

Rouse says they will be in court Monday at the Lenoir County Courthouse at 10:00 a.m.

Be sure to stay with us as we continue to follow this developing story.