by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
Channel 2 Action News is learning that a federal prisoner escaped from the U.S. prison camp in Southeast Atlanta last Wednesday.
Clayton Armstong Hill, 43, was convicted of defrauding the U.S. government after being accused of running a large tax scheme. Neighbors were shocked when Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman told them about Hill's escape.
“I thought, 'Hell, why didn’t someone tell me?” said Dorothy Eisenberg, who lives just a few blocks away from the federal penitentiary. “Why didn’t any of the neighbors know, because we are right here. And if someone walks away from federal prison, we should know.”
In a court affidavit, Deputy U.S. Marshal Clay Cleveland said Hill walked off the prison camp grounds. Officials discovered after a bed count that Hill had disappeared.
An official with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said “all the proper Law Enforcement notifications were sent out in a timely manner.”
Former federal prosecutor Bill Thomas explained that the prison camp is where low-risk inmates reside.
“Is it hard to walk out of there?” Stockman asked.
“The rumor has been for years that people do that. They walk away and come back before count,” said Thomas.
During her research, Stockman also discovered a supposed autobiography that Hill published from prison. In “Diary of an Ex-Terrorist,” Hill claims involvement in the 1997 murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment on those statements.
Hill has been on the run since May 28.
“If they catch him -- and the U.S. Marshals are very good at finding fugitives -- he certainly faces a much more significant sentence,” Thomas said.