Jury convicts, sentences man of double homicide in Lawrenceville

Gwinnett County police found two bodies at a home located at 664 Oxford Hall Drive in Lawrenceville on March 28, 2021.  (FOX 5)

Walter Debron Hill has been found guilty of the murder of two brothers in their Lawrenceville home by a jury in Gwinnett County. 

Hill, 31, was charged with two counts each of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was convicted in the deaths of Darius Myles, 28, and Christopher Smith, 21. Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Tamela Adkins sentenced Hill to two life terms without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 10 years. 

"The victims were young men with promising futures that were tragically cut short by this defendant," stated Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson. "These brothers were killed 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." 

The crime, which occurred on March 28, 2021, came to light when the mother of Myles and Smith discovered her sons fatally shot at their residence at 664 Oxford Hall Drive. The investigation revealed no signs of forced entry, but police found four .40-caliber shell casings at the scene. Hill, identified as a long-time friend of the victims and a frequent guest at their home, became a primary suspect after failing to reach out to the family following the tragedy and exhibiting odd behavior. 

Further investigation linked Hill to the crime scene through cell phone data and security footage. A neighbor's surveillance video captured a shadowy figure triggering motion-detecting lights outside the brothers’ home shortly before they were killed. Hill initially told police his .40 caliber handgun had been stolen from his car, but he had not reported it missing. He later admitted owning the same type of gun used in the killings. 

Hill was eventually found in Houston, where investigators found his car and six matching shell casings. A firearms expert testified that all ten casings recovered were fired from the same weapon. After fleeing to Texas, Hill returned to Gwinnett County by bus, where he was arrested and charged. 

Throughout the trial, Hill maintained his innocence regarding the intent behind the shootings and attempted to minimize his relationship with Myles. However, upon further questioning, Hill expressed indifference to the events, stating he "felt nothing."