James Gary HIll III
Photo: Newton County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Newton County Sheriff's Office

Man gets life for murdering girlfriend, leaving body under Newton County bridge

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. 

RELATED: ‘Suspicious call’ leads police to woman’s body under bridge

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.

MORE: Boyfriend charged 6 months after woman's body found under bridge

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. 

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