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Female defendant in Hannah Bender murder case will have trial
Lumpkin County Courthouse
Bailey Williams will stand trial at the Lumpkin County Courthouse starting May 2 for her tampering with evidence charge that’s linked to the 2019 Bender murder case. - photo by Julia Fechter

A criminal trial has just been continued for one of the remaining defendants in 21-year-old Hannah Bender’s 2019 murder case. 

Bailey Diane Williams, 23, is expected to have a trial on a future date at the Lumpkin County Courthouse after her case was continued off of the initial May 2 trial calendar. 

Lumpkin County belongs to the Enotah Judicial Circuit, which also includes Towns, Union and White counties. 

Authorities arrested Williams in October 2019 and charged her with tampering with evidence. She allegedly helped Austin Todd Stryker, 25, dispose of Bender’s belongings on Sept. 15, 2019, near a campground off of Nimblewill Gap Road in Lumpkin County. 

This past fall, Stryker was convicted on all counts of murdering Bender in Dawson County and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The other remaining defendant is the wife of Stryker, 23-year-old Elizabeth Brooke Donaldson. She has been arrested and charged with concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence. 

She allegedly helped move Bender’s remains to a Blacks Mill Road residence on Sept. 16, 2019, and strip interior parts from the truck where Bender was murdered. 

Donaldson is expected to have more court dates in Dawson County later this year.

In December 2021, Forsyth County resident Jerry Harper, 80, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years of probation for helping Stryker evade police and approving of Bender’s murder. He was recently indicted in Forsyth County on concealing and tampering charges for allegedly helping Stryker bury Bender's remains. 

Defendant Isaac Thomas Huff, 20, received a sentence of 12 years in prison and 18 years on probation for his role in covering up Bender’s murder. Dylan Patrick Reid, 21, got 20 years with 15 years on probation for the additional culpability of tampering with evidence. 

Huff and Reid testified about their, Stryker’s and others’ involvement in a small gang called “THIS” during their joint plea and sentencing hearing and Stryker’s trial. 

They have both said that Stryker’s motive to kill Bender was tied to his belief that she might go to police about his alleged armed robbery of a Dahlonega Dollar General in July 2019. 

An armed robbery case against Stryker is pending in Lumpkin County.