Residents: Hilton Trial Way Over Due

Gary Michael Hilton's trial stirs up memories and a lot emotions for folks in Crawfordville where Cheryl Dunlap lived and died.

The first thing that comes to mind for many when they think about Hilton facing a jury is -- it's about time.

One woman said, "They shouldn't have waited that long."

People in Crawfordville say it's a long time coming for Gary Michael Hilton to stand trial for the murder and kidnapping of fellow resident Cheryl Dunlap.

Pat Underwood said, "I think it's been very difficult for people who knew her really well and her family and extended family. Every time I go pass that place on the road to Tallahassee, I think about it."

That place on the road Underwood is referring to is Highway 319 near the
Wakulla/Leon County line where Dunlap's Toyota Camry was found on December 3, 2007.

Dunlap hadn't been seen since December first, and hunters later discovered her body in the Apalachicola National Forest on December 15th.

More than three years later, jurors are finally being picked to hear the case.

Many in Dunlap's hometown say they already have an ideal outcome in mind.

Jean Rueth said, "Go ahead and give him the death penalty and be done with it. They had all the evidence they needed. He should just go ahead and fry for it."

Dunlap was a Sunday School teacher in Crawfordville and a nurse at FSU.

Jeremy Brown said, "It rips my heart out when I find out someone can do something so savage to someone so strong and pure. There's no point in that."

"They need to see a resolution quickly. If he's guilty, then the town will rest and be at peace."

Many in Crawfordville say although it's taken what they consider too long for Hilton to go on trial, they say they hope a guilty verdict will bring them some closure.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Dorothy Location: Tally on Feb 1, 2011 at 09:22 AM
    Give him the death penalty & be done with it & quit wasting time and taxpayers money! Scum like that doesn't deserve to remain in society or in prison!!
  • by concerned Location: Tallahssee on Feb 1, 2011 at 07:44 AM
    This case has took a crazy turn: what happen to the first leads about a mask man caught on camera using her ATM card and a person standing behind him, how many people you know will stand behind a masked person. Also what happen to the lead about the different vehicles that they have on camera leaving different banks when her card was used. Also first allegations said her car looked as if it had been driven to that spot and then the tire flatten. Let's not be so fast to convict a crazy man they may have killed someone else but didnt kill her. He looks so crazy I dont feel he would take the time to cover his face on an ATM or even ask for a pin and where is the vehicle he drove. Wasnt the astrange son looked at also as a person of intrest. It's easy to pin a crime on a murdering drifter because they always fit the profile. Except that this person showed some intelligence they stop using the card once it was publicised, this man has a mental issue and looks like he will agree 2anything
  • by Lip Cheese on Feb 1, 2011 at 07:06 AM
    Good point skeptical, he's famous now and with the right "perception management" (suit and haircut) he does not look at all like the monster he is. Will they play his confession of the murder of Meredith? Probably not. Get him drunk and let the demon inside him speak in court and the bleeding hearts who are willing to spend millions of dollars on his rights may sing a different tune. Cold but true.
  • by Beth Location: Tallahassee on Feb 1, 2011 at 06:08 AM
    He should be put to death in the same manner that he killed Cheryl, then shot and burned.
  • by skeptical on Feb 1, 2011 at 06:01 AM
    it is all about politics. sure he was convicted in GA, but FL had to go ahead and get him here to try him because it makes FL look good on fighting crime and having a "penalty/punishment" for the crime you commit in the state. *rolls eyes* waste of time and money! at this point all that is happening is giving Hilton an audience, a stage so to speak and publicity that takes precedence over the memory of Ms. Dunlap. SHE is who we should be talking about, not this low life....but HE is who folks will remember in point, unless you were personally involved, do you know the names of the victims of Ted Bundy? ...probably not but i'd wager you know name Ted Bundy....sad but true.
  • by Nicole Location: Crawfordville on Feb 1, 2011 at 05:28 AM
    You bunch of cold hearted people, so what if Florida is spending millions on this trial what if it were your wife, mom, sister, or aunt. Geesh, I did not know Cheryl but I went to school with her boys and they deserve the justice he does not deserve to ROT IN PRISON he needs to be put down
  • by anon Location: tally on Jan 31, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    Annette: It's not the defense attorney's decision as to whether to plea guilty or not guilty, it's Hilton's decision, and his prior conviction in GA has no bearing on his plea on this case. That being said, he is totally guilty and should rot in prison.
  • by Vic Location: Tally on Jan 31, 2011 at 05:13 PM
    Sorry but this trial upsets me in spending much needed money on a low life who was already go to spend the rest of his life in the Ga Correctional System. now we are spending millions of dollars...what a waste.
  • by TJ on Jan 31, 2011 at 05:06 PM
    Why would Florida waste millions on this creep after he has already been tried,convicted and sentenced to life without parole in Georgia.That's all Florida will give him and we have to house and feed him for the rest of his life.So they give him death sentence, it will take 20 years or more for this to happen,if then. And he will be long gone dead from old age. STUPID,STUPID,STUPID...
  • by Shirley on Jan 31, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    He would have plead guilty and accepted a life sentence two years ago if it wasn't for Willie Meggs' political grandstanding. What a waste of time and money.
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