Convicted Killer Gary Hilton Files Appeal

May 20, 2011 by Julie Montanaro

Gary Michael Hilton has just filed an appeal of his conviction and death sentence.

Leon County court records show Hilton filed his intent to appeal this week with the Florida Supreme Court. The high court's web site lists his address as "death row."

Hilton was convicted in February 2011 of the 2007 kidnapping and murder of Crawfordville Sunday School teacher and FSU nurse Cheryl Dunlap. Dunlap was abducted from Leon Sinks and her decapitated body was found two weeks later in the Apalachicola National Forest.

A spokesperson with the public defender's office says it could take a while to compile all the transpcripts and records for the Supreme Court. She estimates there could be more than 10-thousand pages worth of documents.

To follow this appeal yourself, you can log on to the Florida Supreme Court web site and do a docket search. Choose "search by party or attorney," type in the name Gary Hilton and you can see a timeline of all filings, hearings and developments in the case.

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  • by Natty Bumpo Location: Tally on May 21, 2011 at 02:05 PM
    First, Hilton did this crime and he is guilty. Second, by using the Georgia confession the local State Attorney's Office (and the judge that allowed it) have given Mr. Hilton a gold plated appelate issue. A confession cannot be used if it is a coerced, not a voluntary statement. In this case Hilton was told he would get the death penalty unless he confessed. That is pretty coercive.
  • by curly's on May 20, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    Hilton is like a tick on annimal's,To get rid of it light match and let him suffer! Let chery's family let this bad {Nightmare} be thru-finished and quit dragging this on and on. He don't have that crazy smerk,His life is flashing infront of his eye's
  • by anonymous on May 20, 2011 at 07:41 PM
    This trial could have been done less than a year after he was brought to Florida. They had the goods on him even then. That way he'd be that much closer to death.
  • by Tallahassee on May 20, 2011 at 07:36 PM
    Georgia fibbed to the parents of Meredith Emerson. They told those parents the Florida had a whole lot of evidence with which to convict Hilton, in order to get them to sign off on the plea deal. I read it in an article by Christian Boone with AJC. But that's not really true is it? Without the Georgia evidence, Florida would have had a very weak case. So why did Georgia fib to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson?
  • by moramor on May 20, 2011 at 07:33 PM
    "just filed" - looks like it was filed May 9. Today is May 20. So now we know why Ines Suber was "taken off death penalty cases." She's doing Hilton's appeal. Is she put in place to keep the lid on info - this sensitive info? So what is it the authorities are trying so hard to keep from the public? No info from GA. No real facts in the FLA trial. Is there even going to be a charge of Hilton in NC? And if not, then somebody has been successful in hiding whatever it is they don't want the public to know about Hilton. So what is it?
  • by 3minidoxies Location: Tallahassee on May 20, 2011 at 06:49 PM
    What's wrong with this picture? Why did Florida extradite Hilton from Georgia where he was already serving a life sentence at GEORGIA'S EXPENSE? I am far from a biblical scholar but isn't there a plain clear statement that fits...Vengeance is mine, thus saith the Lord! That's the waste of FLORIDA taxpayer money; he should have been left in Georgia! Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, if by some fluke, he was released from Georgia, that's when he should have been tried by Florida!
  • by wdyoung Location: Tallahassee on May 20, 2011 at 06:02 PM
    Hilton's been convicted...not once, but TWICE (GA and here)...for murder. Once, yeah there could've been a mistake. Twice? No.
  • by Steve Location: Marietta, Georgia on May 20, 2011 at 06:01 PM
    Bob, Jasper. Well said!
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on May 20, 2011 at 05:34 PM
    Keep in mind that we, the taxpayers of Florida, are paying all his legal bills. We need to re-assess the rights of convicted persons to have taxpayer funded appeals for years and years. The state is broke and yet Casey Anthony is getting millions spent to defend her and Hilton will get millions spent on him before he's done. What is wrong with this picture?
  • by kaylee Location: Carrabelle on May 20, 2011 at 05:31 PM
    His right and our wrong!! He will never see or face the judicial punishment due him, but we will forever remember his crime......
    • reply
      by Steve Marietta, Ga. on May 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM in reply to kaylee
      Anyone whom cannot handle the execution of a killer, Kaylee, just tell them to read paragraph #3 of the report filed by Julie Montanaro, May 20, 2011. I am sure that you know someone in your circle of friends, whom cannot handle it. Just tell them to read that blog. Thanx. Steve
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