Gary Hilton Pleads Guilty to Murders of John and Irene Bryanton March 28, 2012 in Serial Killers by Brian Combs
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Gary Hilton pleaded guilty Tuesday to the murders of John and Irene Bryant in 2007. He will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
When announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Anne 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.
Robert Bryant, the son of the victims, said:
He should have been put to death a long time ago. If ever there was a crime that deserved the death penalty, this was it. The practical outcome of this is that Hilton will suffer no additional penalties for the murders of John and Irene Bryant. These two are freebies, and that will bother me until the day I die.
In the hearing, which lasted a little more than an hour, Hilton admitted to attacking the Bryants as they were hiking in the Pink Beds area of Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County on Oct. 21, 2007.
Irene Bryant, 84, was killed on the spot. An autopsy showed she died of multiple blows to the head, and that her right forearm was severed.
Hilton told the court that he took John Bryant, 80, to the Nantahala National Forest. After forcing John to reveal his ATM PIN, Hilton shot John in the head, and dumped his body down a bank off a U.S. Forest Service road.
Hilton reportedly offered no explanation of his motives, and showed no remorse for his actions.
Hiton was previously sentenced to death for the murder of a nurse in Florida, and given life in prison for the murder of a hiker in Georgia.