Suspects in the Hannah Bender murder case plead not guilty

Dawson County Courthouse

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Austin Todd Stryker, Dylan Patrick Reid, Isaac Huff and Jerry Nesbit Harper entered not guilty pleas yesterday (March 12) in Superior Court  in connection with the murder of a 21-year-old Lumpkin County woman last September.

Authorities believe Hannah Bender was murdered in Lumpkin County and her body was taken to Forsyth County where it was discovered in a shallow ravine.

Stryker, 22, was indicted on charges of malice murder, three counts of felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, violating Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence.

Reid, 20, and Isaac Huff, 19, both of Dawsonville, are accused of taking part in the crime and helping conceal her death. They were indicted on three counts of felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.

A fourth suspect, 78-year-old Jerry Harper, was indicted on one count each of violating Georgia’s street gang law and hindering the apprehension of a criminal. According to his indictment, Harper helped hide Stryker days after Bender’s death while Stryker was the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Stryker fled to Pennsylvania after the murder and was taken into custody on Oct. 2 by U.S. Marshals and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.



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