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  1. #1

    Arrow First Life Sentence For Murder Of Meredith Emerson

    Man Pleads Guilty to Hiker's Killing in Georgia Mountains

    DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — A drifter pleaded guilty Thursday to murdering a young woman who went missing while hiking in the north Georgia mountains. He was swiftly sentenced to life in prison.

    Gary Michael Hilton, 61, attended the hearing in an orange jumpsuit and a bulletproof vest. He signed a plea agreement earlier in the day, District Attorney Lee Darragh said.

    Judge Bonnie Oliver told Hilton that she agreed with the plea deal, which would allow parole after 30 years, because he likely would have died in prison before the state could have executed him had he been sentenced to death.

    ~Snip~

    Darragh said Hilton told Emerson he was going to let her go and then struck her several times with a jack handle until she died.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,327087,00.html

    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  2. #2
    Emerson was not the first hiker Hilton approached on a trail on Jan. 1. He considered another potential victim, but "she was with other people."

    Emerson became his focus for two reasons: She was alone on Blood Mountain, and she was female.

    He wanted her money. And he knew that he would eventually kill her.

    Witnesses had reported spotting Hilton following Emerson in the mountains that day.

    One witness, a former law enforcement officer, said he saw Hilton carrying a police-style baton and a large knife on his belt. That witness later found two water bottles, a dog leash and some dog treats along with the baton on the edge of a hiking trail.

    "There was in fact a struggle at that location between Ms. Emerson and this defendant," Darragh told the judge as Hilton sat to his left, wearing a dark bulletproof vest over his orange jail uniform and staring straight ahead. "This defendant, however, was able to place her under his control eventually."

    Hilton took Emerson back to her car, where he stole her purse and ATM cards. Then he placed her in his van and drove her around to various locations in North Georgia, seeking to get money out of ATMs with her cards. She kept giving him incorrect PIN numbers.

    He never was able to withdraw any money from Emerson's account. He was videotaped trying to do so at an ATM machine in Canton.

    On Jan. 3, Hilton called a former employer, seeking some money and his old job back. The next day, Hilton told Emerson he was going to let her go.

    He "secured" her in Dawson Forest, went to his van and returned with the handle of a car jack. He struck her on the head several times until she died. In hopes to conceal his crime after beating her to death, he decapitated her.

    "He used the phrase that he did those things for 'forensic purposes,'" Darragh said.

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ge_tab_newstab
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    "Hilton will immediately begin serving a life sentence in the Georgia state penitentiary in Jackson. He will not be eligible for parole until 2038, when the drifter and petty criminal will be 91 years old.

    In the Dawson courtroom Thursday, Hilton wore a bulletproof vest and displayed no emotion. He made no eye contact with his victim's parents, who sat just a few feet away ” though at one point during the proceedings, Meredith's father, David Emerson, stared quizzically in Hilton's direction.
    In his statement to the court, Emerson revealed bitterness toward Hilton: "I only pray that he suffers immensely for his heinous acts and that even his fellow inmates recognize his evil and malevolence for mankind and treat him with appropriate measures."
    As he returned to his seat, David Emerson broke down in tears.
    Hilton stared straight ahead as Susan Emerson, Meredith's mother, took the stand with a biting statement of her own.
    "I believe he is nothing more than a bully and a weak-minded coward who preys on others," she said. "He fancies himself a survivalist while anyone can see he's a scared little man on the run. He's the fool who goes through life too ignorant to realize he is a fool. Meredith has exposed him."
    Hilton chose Meredith as a victim because she was "female and alone," said Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh."

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Gawd. Horrible. He gave her a brief glimpse of surviving, right before killing her. I hope the prison population takes care of him.

  6. #6
    They will probably shield him from the other prisoners sad to say. I can see many of them wanting a piece of this guy.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  7. #7
    The good news is that he is talking. He gave details and I hope he will continue to talk. The other families deserve to know where their loved ones are located and how they were murdered by this creep.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  8. #8
    Emerson became his focus for two reasons: She was alone on Blood Mountain, and she was female.

    He wanted her money. And he knew that he would eventually kill her.

    Hilton took Emerson back to her car, where he stole her purse and ATM cards. Then he placed her in his van and drove her around to various locations in North Georgia, seeking to get money out of ATMs with her cards. She kept giving him incorrect PIN numbers.

    He never was able to withdraw any money from Emerson's account. He was videotaped trying to do so at an ATM machine in Canton.

    On Jan. 3, Hilton called a former employer, seeking some money and his old job back. The next day, Hilton told Emerson he was going to let her go.

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ge_tab_newstab

    According to what he told his lawyer, the motive was indeed money. When he was unable to access her account, he called the old boss because he was broke.
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    85
    Emerson became his focus for two reasons: She was alone on Blood Mountain, and she was female.
    He thought about another female hiking at the same time and gave up on her because she was with other people.

    scary, scary, scary.

    I guess he scoped out the Bryants because they were older - he didn't mind that they were together.

    And Cheryl was alone... we still don't know how he got to her...

    It is so hard to think it was "only" about money - he took what? all of $300 from Cheryl's account. Doesn't seem like much compared to a life, now does it? And why not take more? That's the biggest thing, if it was only about money (and not the thrill of the chase or the fun of killing a woman), why did he take such little amounts each time - and then go find another victim.

    I seriously think there's more to it than just the money

    He's got a life sentence at the "state Penitentiary in Jackson" so I'm guessing it's the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison that houses death row inmates. Maximum security at least.

    On the upside, there's still Florida and North Carolina (at the very least) who are ready to add a bit to his sentence. He still might be alive at 91.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    929
    Im speaking on pure emotion here, so if it offends I apologize in advance.

    These comments(from link above) from the Jerk's attorney struck out at me -


    "He realizes what he has done to the family," McNeill said. "He realizes what a special person Meredith was."
    She "actually did fight him in the beginning until she was unable to anymore," Darragh told reporters after the court hearing.
    Added McNeill: "She was absolutely a hero. She did everything she possibly could" to survive."






    Too bad he didn't realize that when he decided to not only take her but her life. This has got to STOP! Why are these scumbuckets left w/ choices? They didn't leave their victims any choices. Nor their victims families. This was a bright, loving, caring, woman who was just getting the world "by the tail". Then this low life loser gets to come along and snuff it out?




    He gets life in prison..So the hell what..He still gets to make CHOICES. He still gets to have some free will, he can possibly have tv, and visitors, access to the outdoors, etc. Yes, it may be behind prison walls, but dammit, IT WAS HIS CHOICE to DO THIS. (caps for emphasis not yelling)



    He did NOT GIVE HER ONE. What makes him an almighty ruler who gets to make that decision for her? I admire her parents, and their strength, while I would love to think I could be that strong, I'd almost gurantee that my anger would get the best at me seeing him in that courtroom. And I probably would have said something that would make me look like not such a nice person.



    Their whole family seems to be a "class act". I can see why their has been such a huge outpouring of love for her. It's truly a tragedy she wasn't given the choice in being able to pursue all of her marks to be left on the worlds surface.



    I will say though, while I don't know her, I am "happy" to know, that she has indeed left a legacy behind her. She is responsible even after death, in bringing a truly heinous person out of society.



    Because of her (and Le, volunteers, society pulling together, I know this, but I'm stating because of her, and those that loved her, there was a huge amount of media that brought us the details on GH and allowed him to be caught)



    Because of her, hopefully there will be many families that while maybe not getting the news they hoped for, can at least lay their loved ones to rest.



    Because of her, in Longmont, as well as other places, an animal has a longer stay, or even a home.



    Because of her, there will be students that get to know her love of french, who maybe otherwise wouldn't be able to do so.



    Because of her, it's reminded once again, that even though we think we're safe, there truly is horrible people walking amongst us.



    Because of her, I have made wonderful friends, became a more aware person, woke up about being so nonchalant about some things, and have gotten "more involved".

    Because of her - many of us have realized there really are angels in the world...Now she is one of them....





  11. #11
    Join Date
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    jinxie, that was a moving post. I absolutely love that picture of Meredith. It is beautiful and fitting.

  13. #13
    For anyone interested, here is a "virtual tour" of where Hilton is headed. This is just a transitional place, he will be moved to his permanent hellhole a few weeks later:

    http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/AboutGDC/VRTour.html

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by panglossian View Post
    I don't think they are allowed to treat him differently than the rest of the prison population in order to get information. I think he'll adjust to his environment, don't forget it's what he asked for in his plea deal. He may even be in solitary as part of his deal. Any details on that deal, yet?
    Thanks, Pang. I wasn't actually suggesting that, more that, due to his notoriety, he will prob automatically have few privileges/luxuries anway. Somehow, I just wouldn't be surprised if the GBI/FBI might have the power/authority to offer him a perk (20 mins with Dandy for example, or 10 mins in the sunshine, whatever) to divulge the location of John Bryant's body. Was not suggesting that they would treat him more harshly until he does.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pure Maple Syrup View Post
    Thanks, Pang. I wasn't actually suggesting that, more that, due to his notoriety, he will prob automatically have few privileges/luxuries anway. Somehow, I just wouldn't be surprised if the GBI/FBI might have the power/authority to offer him a perk (20 mins with Dandy for example, or 10 mins in the sunshine, whatever) to divulge the location of John Bryant's body. Was not suggesting that they would treat him more harshly until he does.
    Yes, Pure Maple Syrup, I think I see where you are going with this and I agree. Give him an increasing amount of perks that he becomes accustomed to receiving and then begin taking them away. This technique is successfully used in contract negotiations. He might begin bargaining to get them back. And they wouldn't be crossing any lines with human rights groups because there is no harsh treatment.



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