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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Court records indicate East Valley High teacher shot at, harassed ex-wife for months

An East Valley High School special education teacher charged with shooting at his ex-wife on two occasions this year has been charged with shooting at her home and at her truck in 2022.

Benjamin Hill’s new charges include first-degree assault, drive-by shooting, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and two counts of third-degree malicious mischief, according to court documents filed last Friday in Spokane County Superior Court.

Hill, 41, is accused of firing a bullet through the window and wall of his ex-wife’s Cheney home while she was inside the house on the night of June 1, 2022, according to documents. Several neighbors witnessed a dark blue sedan leaving the area after hearing two shots that night, documents say. Hill has a blue Nissan Versa registered to him.

Police believe a bullet also struck a car belonging to his ex-wife’s neighbor that night, leading to the drive-by shooting charge.

The conspiracy charge stems from an August 2022 shooting in King County in which the home of Hill’s fiancée’s ex-husband was shot, court records show. The ex-husband’s video showed a sedan driving by early that morning before it stopped, a loud “pop” could be heard and the driver sped away.

On Nov. 19, Hill’s ex-wife noticed a bullet hole in the front windshield of her Dodge Ram truck when she was leaving work in Cheney. The bullet appeared to exit through the back window. The next month, Hill’s ex-wife reported her truck tailgate had a new bullet hole in it.

In all four shootings, bullets or bullet fragments were sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and were determined to have come from a .357 revolver police found in Hill’s Subaru Outback during a search in May when he was first arrested.

Hill also faces multiple charges for shooting at his ex-wife in May in Spokane and in March at a Cheney Starbucks.

A bullet almost struck a driver in the head in the Starbucks drive-thru line, records show. The Hills’ daughter was with her mother at the time of the shooting.

Hill was placed on paid administrative leave from his job after the Spokane shooting, with which he was charged first.

East Valley School District superintendent Brian Talbott said the school district placed him on unpaid leave for the duration of the current school year.

In that incident, Hill is suspected of shooting at his ex-wife while she was driving to work on May 18 near Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

No one was injured in any of the shootings.

A WSP scientist told police a 9 mm casing recovered from Starbucks and another 9 mm casing found near Sacred Heart were forensically reviewed and determined to have been fired from a 9 mm handgun found in Hill’s Subaru in May.

Hill is accused of stealing the 9 mm gun from one of his ex-wife’s family members. The family member reported it stolen from his truck in February. During a search of the Airway Heights home where Hill was living, police found the family member’s stolen passport as well, documents say.

Hill has also been charged for allegedly flattening his ex-wife’s tires at her work on two occasions in May.

Hill was in the Spokane County Jail Thursday night on a $1.75 million bond. He is set for trial Jan. 8 for the older charges and for an arraignment Nov. 7 for the charges filed Friday.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on November 1, 2023, to reflect that the East Valley School District placed Benjamin Hill on unpaid leave for the 2023-24 school year.