Hall County commission candidate, wife found dead

A former candidate for Hall County Commission and his wife have been found dead inside their home early Thursday morning. Deputies are trying to figure out how the violence inside the house near 3rd Street in Gainesville unfolded.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrived here around 9:30 a.m. after an acquaintance who came by the home discovered the bodies of former candidate Robert Troy Phillips, 45, and Heather Deamber Phillips, 42, in the family room of the home. Investigators said there was no sign that any kind of intruder was involved.

Neighbors told FOX 5 News the Phillips often quarreled loudly and could easily be heard several homes away. Investigators are looking into reports the Philips were quarreling Wednesday night.

“Investigators are looking at the strong possibility of some sort of domestic dispute inside the home last night,” said Hall County Sheriff's Office Deputy Stephen Wilbanks. “We don't know for sure what transpired after that point. What we do know is that our deputies were called there a little after or right about 9:30 this morning.”

Deputy Wilbanks said there were multiple firearms in the house but would not elaborate further on what type of gun was used in the shooting or who shot whom.

"Our investigators are continuing to speak with neighbors and any possible witnesses to try to determine perhaps when the shootings took place," said Deputy Wilbanks.

Deputy Wilbanks said autopsies on the bodies should give investigators more insight into exactly what happened.

“Last night, they were arguing really bad then around midnight I heard one pop, but just as I come in from walking my dog,” said Stacy Allison, who lives across the street from the Phillips.

“I honestly never expected this. I talked to Troy several times, especially when he was running for County Commissioner. He came to talk to me about voting for him,” said Christopher Bales, who lives across the street.

The shootings have shaken residents on Third Street outside of Gainesville. More so for some, considering Mr. Phillips was a recent candidate for the Fourth District County Commissioners seat. The Republican was also a ten year Navy combat veteran who served in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.