Four people have been indicted by a Dawson County grand jury on various charges related to the murder of Hannah Bender in September 2019.
Indictments were returned for Austin Stryker, 24, Isaac Huff, 18, Dylan Reid, 19, and Jerry Harper, 78.
Stryker, Huff and Reid were indicted on charges of felony murder, which differs from murder in that any person who causes the death of another person in the commission of a felony has committed murder, regardless of the usual standards of intent, malice or premeditation.
Stryker, Huff and Reid were also indicted on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and tampering with evidence.
Harper was indicted on a charge of hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal.
All four men were also indicted on a somewhat obscure charge under the state’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. This indictment implies that the men were acting as part of a criminal street gang.
Investigators initially believed that the murder of Hannah Bender happened at a camp site in Lumpkin County, where a substantial amount of evidence was found.
Sources close to the investigation now claim that they currently believe the murder may have happened in Dawson County, before the suspects disposed of the body in Forsyth County and planted evidence at the campsite in Lumpkin County in an attempt to throw off investigators.
The murder charges are punishable by the death penalty or imprisonment for life without parole.