‘Friend’ who came for Sunday dinners convicted of killing 2 brothers

Walter Debron Hill sentenced to life without parole for Gwinnett murders
Darius Myles (left) and C.J. Smith were found shot to death on March 28, 2021, in a Lawrenceville-area home.

Credit: Family photos

Credit: Family photos

Darius Myles (left) and C.J. Smith were found shot to death on March 28, 2021, in a Lawrenceville-area home.

He was a family friend, often invited for Sunday dinners. But Walter Debron Hill’s behavior had changed after a breakup with the mother of his children, according to friends.

In March 2021, something led Hill to kill two brothers in their Gwinnett County home, prosecutors say. When he was questioned about it, Hill told investigators he “felt nothing” about his actions.

Evidence linked Hill, 31, to the deaths and Tuesday afternoon, he was convicted of murder in the deaths of Darius Myles, 28, and Christopher Smith, 21, Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson announced. Hill received two life sentences without the chance of parole, plus 10 years. He was also convicted of two counts each of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

“The victims were young men with promising futures that were tragically cut short by this defendant,” Austin-Gatson in a statement. “These brothers were killed in at home in their sleep. My heart goes out to their family for this unspeakable loss. The defendant’s sentence is justice, and we hope that this will be the start of the healing process.”

On March 28, 2021, Tyreene Brown drove from her home in north Gwinnett to the home near Lawrenceville where Myles had lived for about two years, she previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

She let herself in with her key. Inside, she found two of her sons dead. They had been shot while they slept, the family said.

“The doors were locked, the garage was down and there were no signs of forced entry,” Deja Myles, the pair’s sister, said during the investigation.

Darius “Junior” Myles was the father of four. His youngest brother, Smith, had recently moved in with him, the family said. “C.J.” was the youngest of six siblings.

Walter Hill was arrested in June 2021 and charged with murder in the deaths of two brothers. This week, he was convicted in a Gwinnett County courtroom.

Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

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Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office

“That’s my baby,” Brown said of Smith.

Smith had been shot twice in the head on the sofa in the living room, the DA’s office said. Detectives found four 40-caliber shell casings in the home.

The deaths shocked the family. Brown told investigators about Hill, suggesting him as a possible suspect though she couldn’t imagine why he would have killed her sons. Hill had previously stayed at the Oxford Hall Drive home, near Five Forks Trickum Road.

“This person used to come to our house often, especially for Sunday dinner,” Brown said.

Cell phone data placed Hill in the victims’ neighborhood from 3:30 a.m., until just after 4 a.m., the morning they were found dead, according to the DA’s office. Later, a man determined to be Hill was seen leaving the house and driving away in a dark-colored car.

Hill admitted that he owned a 40 caliber gun. He also told investigators he drove his blue Volkswagen Jetta to Texas from Gwinnett. Inside the car, detectives found shell casings that matched those found in the brothers’ home, the DA’s office said.

“We still don’t really know what set him off,” Brown said after the arrest.

In June 2021, Hill was arrested and charged in the case. He has been held in the Gwinnett jail since his arrest.