Austin Stryker found guilty in the murder of a Lumpkin County woman

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Austin Stryker

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — Austin Stryker was found guilty of the September 2019 murder of Hannah Bender Wednesday.

The Dawsonville man was convicted of 24 criminal charges including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and violations of the state Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

Isaac Thomas Huff and Dylan Patrick Reid, both of Dawsonville, testified that Stryker lured Bender from her home with the promise of a trip to Florida then shot her as they drove through Dawson County and stabbed when she did not die from the shooting.

Bender’s mother reported the Lumpkin County woman missing in on September 14, 2019. Her body was found three days later in a shallow grave in Dawson County. Stryker fled to Pennsylvania but surrendered to authorities in October.

 

Man accused of Hannah Bender murder will appear in Superior Court Friday

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Austin Stryker, the man indicted for the grisly murder of 21-year-old Hannah Bender of Lumpkin County in 2019, and Jerry Harper, the man indicted for hindering Stryker’s apprehension, will appear for a calendar call in Dawson County Superior Court Friday (April 16).

Stryker, 24, faces charges of malice murder, felony murder, violation of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence.

Harper, 78, was indicted for violation of the state’s street gang law and hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Jerry Harper

Two other defendants, Isaac Thomas Huff, 20, and Dylan Patrick Reid, 21, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, concealing the death of another and violation of the state’s street gang law. Both men accepted a plea deal for a lighter sentence and have testified that Stryker is the man who murdered Bender. The men were all members of a small street gang called “This.”

Suspects in the Hannah Bender murder case plead not guilty

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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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