• Manhattan prosecutors charged Hillman with negligence after she allegedly did nothing as an inmate hanged himself inside his cell
  • Prosecutors said Hillman filed a false report that insisted she had re-opened Wilson's cell and "immediately" had him cut down
  • Hillman has been suspended without pay and is under an internal investigation

A 38-year-old Department of Correction captain has been charged after she allegedly watched and did nothing as an inmate in a New York City jail hanged himself under her watch, prosecutors announced Monday.

Rebecca Hillman was charged in New York Supreme Court with criminally negligent homicide and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree in connection to the death of inmate Ryan Wilson on Nov. 22, 2020, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"The death of Ryan Wilson wasn’t just a tragedy — it was a crime," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in the statement.

"Our investigation shows that Captain Hillman ordered her subordinates not to take potentially life-saving measures to help Mr. Wilson, and failed to call for medical assistance expediently," Vance continued.

According to the statement, Wilson climbed on a stool, put a noose around his neck and threatened to kill himself if Hillman did not come and let him out of his cell at Manhattan Detention Complex. Prior to the incident, Hillman had decided to move Wilson to a different housing unit after Wilson got into an argument with another inmate.

When Hillman was informed of the situation by an officer, she went to the control room of the detention center and began filing paperwork while the officer attempted to calm Wilson.

Wilson reportedly waited for approximately 10 minutes before he got on his bed with a noose around his neck, began a countdown, and jumped off the bed.

The officer outside of the cell who had attempted to calm Wilson down called for Wilson's cell to be opened so he could cut him down from the noose. Hillman emerged from the control room a few moments later and told the other inmates that Wilson was fine and was "playing."

When Wilson's cell was finally opened, Hillman ordered the officer not to enter and said that Wilson was "faking it because he was still breathing," according to the statement. She then left the area to do other business after she called for non-emergency backup and ordered the door closed while Wilson remained hanging inside his locked cell.

Hillman gave the order to open Wilson's cell again approximately 15 minutes after he hanged himself and called for a medical team.

Officers cut him down, felt a faint pulse and began chest compressions. Wilson was pronounced dead when medical personnel arrived minutes later.

According to prosecutors, "Hillman filed an official report that falsely stated Mr. Wilson had asked to be moved to another unit, that she had the cell door re-opened and had Mr. Wilson cut down 'immediately' after the cell door was closed."

Hillman has been suspended without pay and is under an internal investigation following the incident, ABC News reported.