Serial Killer Admits Murdering N.C. Couple – Greenville News Story – WYFF Greenville
Gary Michael Hilton pleaded to the murders of the retired couple and to robbery, kidnapping and firearms offenses in connection with the October 2007 deaths.
According to the plea agreement, Hilton admitted killing John Bryant in Nantahala National Forest in Macon County. Hilton also admitted to killing Irene Bryant in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County.
Hilton’s plea agreement provides that he will receive a sentence of life in prison without any possibility for parole.
He was already sentenced to death in Florida in 2011, after being convicted of killing and decapitating Cheryl Dunlap in 2007.
Hilton also got a life sentence in January 2008 after pleading guilty to kidnapping, raping and killing Meredith Emerson, who was hiking in Georgia.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Tompkins said, “Our hearts go out to the Bryant family. No action by the criminal justice system can soothe the pain they must live with because of the actions of Gary Hilton. This is a just outcome, reached after consideration of all the facts and circumstances of this case. We trust that the fact that Mr. Hilton will spend the rest of his life in a prison, locked away from all civilized society, will bring some closure, if not comfort, to the Bryant family.”
In April 2011, Hilton was convicted and received a death sentence for the murder of Cheryl Dunlap in Leon County, Florida. Hilton is also serving a life sentence for his convictions related to the 2008 murder of Meredith Emerson in Northern Georgia.
Hilton remains in local federal custody.