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Gary Michael Hilton sentenced to death in Florida case
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A man found guilty in the 2007 slaying and decapitation of a nurse has been sentenced to death by a jury.

The jury in Tallahassee deliberated for about an hour Monday before reaching its decision involving 64-year-old Gary Michael Hilton. Last week Hilton was found guilty in the killing of 46-year-old nurse Cheryl Hodges Dunlap of Crawfordville.

He was earlier sentenced to life in prison in exchange for a guilty plea in the January 2008 slaying of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson of Buford.

Emerson, a University of Georgia graduate, disappeared on New Year's Day while hiking near Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Hilton was charged with the crime a week later.

The headless bodies of the women had been found in forests where Hilton had camped, Dunlap's remains in the Florida Panhandle and Emerson's in North Georgia.

Authorites say Hilton is a suspect in at least three other killings in the South.

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