Man convicted in murder of Hannah Bender faces life sentence

A jury convicted Austin Stryker (left) of murdering Hannah Bender (right) on November 10, 2021.

A Georgia man faces life in prison after his conviction on malice murder and other charges in the 2019 shooting and stabbing of a 21-year-old Lumpkin County woman.

A jury convicted Austin Stryker after nearly six hours of deliberation Wednesday. Prosecutors said Stryker was among members of a small criminal gang in Georgia and that Hannah Bender was killed to keep her from informing authorities about a robbery.

Bender was killed in Dawson County and buried in a shallow grave in Forsyth County.

Bender, of Lumpkin County, was killed in September 2019 while riding in a pickup truck with Stryker and Isaac Huff, according to previous court testimony. She was shot in the head without warning by Stryker, according to testimony given in a plea hearing in April. She was also stabbed 32 times, according to an autopsy.

Huff is among others who faced charges in connection with Bender’s death and the disposal of the body.

As part of a plea deal, Huff will spend 12 years in prison and 18 years on probation.

Another man, Dylan Reid, pleaded guilty in April to aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and other charges. He will spend 20 years in jail and 15 on probation.