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.
Toccoa, GA (March 5, 2020) – This month marks the nine year anniversary of the murder of
Robert Lee Simmons, Jr. The GBI is seeking the public’s assistance with any information about
Simmons’ last days and his murder. Simmons, 46, was found dead at his home at the Glendale
Apartments on Norman Drive on March 1, 2011 by a family member. The Toccoa Police
Department responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call. Simmons’ death was determined to
be a homicide.
This case has remained active for the past nine years and both the GBI and Toccoa Police
Department continue to work to solve this case. Recently, investigators have received new
promising leads in this investigation and are asking for help from those who knew Simmons.
Even the smallest detail may help police with this investigation.
Both law enforcement and Robert Simmons’ family and friends implore anyone with information
to contact the GBI or Toccoa Police Department. GBI Special Agent Shilo Crane is the case
agent and may be reached at 706-348-4866. Tips can also be made on the GBI Tipline at 800-
597-8477 or online submissions may be made on the GBI website: www.gbi.georgia.gov. The
Toccoa Police Department may be contacted at 706-282-3244.
DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Four suspects indicted in connection with the murder of Hannah Bender last September will be arraigned in Superior Court next month.
Austin Todd Stryker, Dylan Patrick Reid, Isaac Huff and Jerry Nesbit Harper are scheduled to appear before Judge Kathlene F. Gosselin on March 12.
Authorities believe the 21-year-old woman was murdered in Lumpkin County then taken to Forsyth County where her body was discovered.
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.
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