In July 2010, Christopher V. Hillman was convicted of seven counts of attempting to influence the jury during the Raymond Oyler arson murder trial the previous year. On Friday, Aug. 24, Judge Larrie Brainard sentenced Hillman to 36 months of formal probation.
He must perform 300 hours of community service and file proof of its completion by Aug. 26, 2013. He also must pay fees and fines totaling nearly $6,800.
Hillman is Oyler’s brother-in-law. In March 2009, Oyler was found guilty of igniting the 2005 Esperanza Fire, which killed five U.S. Forest Service firefighters.
During Oyler’s month-long trial, it was interrupted one day when jurors discovered and reported fliers on their car windows. The material referred to the possibility of another arsonist.
Hillman was arrested in August 2009 following a six-month investigation. His trial for jury tampering began in July 2010. About a week later, jurors found him guilty of trying to influence a juror.
Within a month of Hillman’s conviction in 2010, trial Judge Brainard had concerns about the adequacy of Hillman’s defense.
In April, a three-judge panel overturned Judge Brainard’s decision to grant Hillman a new trial.