Damon Sherod Hamilton
Photo: Paulding County Sheriff’s Office
Photo: Paulding County Sheriff’s Office

COLD CASE: Felon charged in 2017 Paulding murder; victim shot in front of wife, children

Less than two months after getting out of a Georgia prison, a DeKalb County man allegedly shot and killed another man as his wife and children watched. But it took investigators more than two years to find the suspected killer. 

On Wednesday, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office said Damon Sherod Hamilton, 32, has been arrested and charged with murder in the January 2017 shooting death of Mark Phillips. Phillips, 34, and his family had just arrived at their Powder Springs-area home when he was attacked by men who were already inside, according to Sgt. Ashley Henson. 

Phillips was shot and left to die in his foyer, but no one else was injured, Henson said. At the time, investigators said it did not appear to be a random attack. But the case went cold, despite the work of Paulding and GBI detectives, until a recent break in the case, Henson said. 

ALSO: Killed in his driveway: Paulding man’s 2005 shooting remains unsolved

On Aug. 12, deputies secured arrest warrants for Hamilton, who was located in Forest Park by U.S. Marshals. He was charged with murder, aggravated assault, burglary and violation of the Georgia Gang Act, all felonies. He was being held without bond Wednesday at the Paulding jail. 

“I am pleased that our detectives and GBI Agents have not given up on this case,” Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge said in an emailed statement. “We will continue our investigation into this incident and we expect more arrests in the future. I hope that Mrs. Phillips will have some closure knowing that one of the men responsible for her husband’s death is in jail.”

No information has been released about a possible motive in the case. 

Hamilton has already spent plenty of time behind bars, prison records show. He has served three stints in state prisons and most recently was released Nov. 4, 2016, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Hamilton was previously convicted of various drug, theft and weapons charges in Fulton County. 

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Paulding sheriff’s office at (770) 443-3015 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 577-TIPS (8477). There is a $2,000 reward for information leading to an additional arrest. 

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