Suspect sentenced in home invasion attack on vet

Roberto Hill, Jr. (pictured) pleaded guilty for charges connected to a March 2013 home invasion in Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man who stabbed an 84 year-old World War II veteran during a home invasion will spend the next 25 to 30 years in prison.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Roberto Hill, Jr. pleaded guilty last week to charges including armed home invasion and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

Delaney says that just after midnight on March 17, 2013, Hill broke into the victim’s Garfield Street home, and when he and his wife confronted Hill, the suspect held a knife to the wife’s throat and demanded money.

As she was going to get the money, Delaney says, her 84 year-old husband came to her defense, and that was when he was stabbed in the arm and in the area of his liver. Hill took the cash and ran away, but was caught by police less than 30 minutes later.

In the meantime, Officers Daniel Billingsly and Clay Canning provided first aid to the victim, before he could be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Delaney says that ER doctors credited the officers with saving the victim’s life.

After Hill entered his plea last Thursday, the victim and his wife gave an impact statement thanking the officers for their help.

Police Commissioner William Fitchet also praised the work of the two policemen.

“Officers Canning and Billingsley did a fantastic job saving this victims life and taking part in the arrest of Roberto Hill. These officers deserve high praise and are great examples of why the Springfield Police Department is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the State. These officers continue to serve the public on a daily basis and the citizens of Springfield are in good hands with officers like these protecting and serving them,” Fitchet said.

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