A Newton County man who beat and strangled his girlfriend before leaving her body under a bridge was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.
James Gary Hill III was convicted of murdering 27-year-old Kelly Marshall, whose body was discovered by two kayakers near the Yellow River in Covington in August 2017, authorities said.
Marshall was last seen with Hill the night before her death, prosecutors said. The two spent the day together before Marshall went missing, but Hill lied to police about his whereabouts that day, the Newton County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Hill was charged with his girlfriend’s murder six months after her death. He was arrested after leading police on a chase through Walton County, authorities said.
During their investigation, detectives determined he had been violent toward Marshall in the past and he had a previous conviction for strangling another woman.
He was convicted of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, meaning he’ll be eligible for release after serving 30 years.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.