Gary Hilton pleads guilty to killing N.C. couple

2:25 PM, Mar 27, 2012   |    comments
Gary Hilton during an extradition hearing in Butts County.
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The man convicted of murdering University of Georgia graduate Meredith Emerson and a Florida woman accepted a life prison sentence without parole after pleading guilty in North Carolina to ambushing and killing an elderly couple hiking in a national forest.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said 65-year-old Gary Michael Hilton pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing John and Irene Bryant in 2007.

Prosecutors said Hilton camped out waiting for victims before he encountered the Bryants, who were both in their 80s, as they hiked in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County.

Hilton is already on death row in Florida and has a life prison sentence in Georgia for the murders of Cheryl Dunlap and Emerson, respectively. Both women were beheaded.

The bodies of Hilton's four victims were found over the span of several months starting in late 2007.

(Associated Press)

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