Palatka mayor received death threat Monday

Police department provided special protection for first-term city leader

A death threat against Palatka’s mayor was deemed an “idle threat” by the Palatka Police Department, and the first-term city leader is no longer receiving special protection from law enforcement.

According to Palatka police Capt. Matt Newcomb, Mayor Terrill Hill said he received a death threat Monday from Dwayne “Boogie” Williams. Williams is a former high school football teammate of Hill’s, and Hill, a criminal defense attorney, has unsuccessfully defended Williams in at least three criminal cases, according to the Putnam County courts’ online database.

When reached by phone, Hill declined to talk to the Palatka Daily News.

“I’ve got no comment,” Hill said. “I would prefer you not write anything about it.”

Newcomb said Hill contacted the Palatka Police Department on Monday. According to an incident report provided by the police agency, Hill contacted law enforcement and met with a Palatka police officer at the Price-Martin Center.

Hill told an officer he received a phone call from Williams, but did not answer the call because he was in a meeting, the report said.

“Hill further stated he then received some text(s) on his cellular phone from Williams that included a threat against his life,” the report said.

Williams’ text message to Hill said, “(Expletive) (expletive) you better be ready when I get to town (expletive) (expletive).”

The report said Hill responded, “What are you talking about?” The report said Williams replied, “Die (expletive) die.”

Hill also received a voicemail from Williams. It, too, contained profanity and contained an alleged threat, according to the report.

“Hey, you know what, Terrill? This is Boogie. You’re a real (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) and I’m about to come shoot your punk (expletive). Put this (expletive) on the news (expletive) (expletive).”

The report said the officer downloaded the voicemail onto the evidence server at the police department.

“I advised Hill I would document the incident and provide extra patrol to his home due to the threats made by Williams,” the report said.

Newcomb said the Palatka Police Department placed decoy cars at Hill’s law office and his home.

Hill also received “dignitary detail” Wednesday at the Putnam County Courthouse, according to Newcomb, because Williams’ son was due in court. Dignitary detail, Newcomb said, consists of two officers shadowing a protectee.

“We were not able to really investigate the complaint,” Newcomb said. “It was somebody calling and making a threat. Once we were able to indicate everything was OK, we went about our business and (Hill) went about his business.”

Newcomb said Palatka police officials were retrieving the decoy vehicles Friday afternoon.

“It was determined it was just somebody making an idle threat that had no substance to it,” Newcomb said.