Special prosecutor assigned to handle Woods’ homicide; suspects held on $5 million bond

From FCNO Staff Reports

A special prosecutor will handle the murder case against two Franklin County men accused of killing Hamilton Mathias Woods, Jr.

Gavin Lloyd Miller, 18, and Dillon Thomas Piper, 19, were charged with second-degree murder in Woods’ death on Jan. 29 in the Kerigon Lane area of Youngsville.

Bond was set at $5 million for each.

Woods’ family attorney Chance Lynch spoke in front of the Franklin County Courthouse after the bond hearing on Monday.

“What we do know is that three individuals showed up where Hamilton Woods was with his lady friend and her mom. We were told they were wearing ski masks. They came with a loaded weapon and while they were there they shot and killed 19-year-old Hamilton Woods Jr.,” said Lynch.

Lynch questioned if another arrest would be coming.

The Woods’ family said they want transparency and accountability for his murder after a bond hearing on Monday. The courthouse steps were filled with the family’s supporters.

Lynch requested the special prosecutor after hearing that one of the suspect’s family members may had ties to the court system.

District Attorney Mike Waters said Piper’s mother once worked in his office, but hasn’t in three years.

Lynch is also concerned about a social media post showing Miller, Thomas and another man and woman with a message about being part of the local Klu Klux Klan. It is not clear how the post originated.

“I think that’s enough in itself for the State Bureau of Investigation to come in to investigate,” Lynch said.

The photo is being investigated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and more arrests may be made.

The bond hearing was continued to Friday. The Woods family expects to have a large group of supporters with them.


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