Vigil held for DYS staff member who died after assault at Springfield facility | News

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The family of 60-year-old James Hillman spoke with Western Mass. News for the first time since his passing.







SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–A vigil is being held for the man who died following an assault at the Department of Youth Services facility in Springfield.

The family of 60-year-old James Hillman spoke with Western Mass. News for the first time since his passing.

Deborah Hillman is James Hillman’s sister. she said she wants the teen suspect, whose identity has not been released, held responsible.

The last time Deborah Hillman and her family held a candlelight Vigil, their brother James Hillman was still alive. He was struggling on life support following injuries he sustained in a June 30th assault at the department of youth services facility in Springfield where he worked.

“He really tried to live,” Deborah Hillman said.

But weeks later, those injuries proved too much to overcome.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Western Mass News is getting answers on the deadly assault at…

“He suffered terrible…terrible to watch your loved one pass like that,” Deborah said.

the Hampden District Attorney said a sixteen-year-old boy from the facility is the suspect.

DA Anthony Gulluni sat down for an interview on Western Mass News getting answers with Dave Madsen, revealing details about the preliminary investigation

“We have significant evidence that shows this was a fairly calculated act that resulted in tragically a man’s death,” Gulluni said.

“This is what bothers me every night where was staff? That’s my question,” Deborah said.

Deborah said she hopes to get more information when the autopsy report is completed.

But her journey for the truth won’t end there, based on a promise she made when James was unconscious in the hospital.

“I let him know that I have this. I’m not going to let this go down like this. I want to know and I want someone punished,” Deborah said.

“He has a 16-year-old that he will never see graduate, he will never see any grandchildren because of this,” Deborah said.

Western Mass News reached out to DYS for an updated statement but they declined.

We also contacted the Center for Human Development which runs the detention program where James worked. They sent us a new statement from Jim Goodwin, President and CEO, CHD saying quote:

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Authorities report that a Department of Youth Services staff …

“We are heartbroken at the loss of our colleague, and we are entirely focused in this moment on providing consolation and support resources to our colleague’s family and to our staff.”





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