LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) - A domestic dispute turned into a hostage stand-off in Lowndes County last night.
A man with a gun held law officers at bay for 11 hours outside a Valdosta hotel room. Inside a room at Hawthorne Suites, 25 year old Kenneth Bernard Hill held his wife at gunpoint until Sheriff's negotiators talked him into surrendering.
When Angela Hill's estranged husband, Kenneth, showed up at her place of work Wednesday night, she had no idea the situation would quickly turn violent.
"They've been separated for some time and from our understanding, it was her intention to end the relationship. He was unhappy with that," says Lt. Stryde Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriffs Department.
The incident began when Kenneth arrived at Fresh Beginnings and demanded to see Angela. A co-worker kept a close eye on the two as they spoke.
"She noticed the male walked away for a minute," says Deputy Trey Griffin, who was the first to arrive at the scene. "She walked up and asked the victim if everything was ok. The victim told her 'Go inside. He has a gun.'"
Kenneth then took Angela to the nearby Hawthorne Suites, and that co-worker called 911.
Deputies, crisis negotiators, and the Special Response Team negotiated with Kenneth, who informed them he had a loaded pistol. Finally, just before 7:00 AM, Kenneth gave in.
"He allowed her to leave the room," says Lt. Jones. "She exited the room. We continued talking to him for about 15-20 minutes. He had dialogue with us, and then came out himself."
Investigators say they are grateful for the work of multiple agencies, which brought a non-violent ending to a situation that could easily have turned deadly.
Kenneth Hill is in the Lowndes County Jail, charged with Aggravated Assault and Kidnapping. He has a criminal record, and has been arrested for family violence before.