Stewart Co. man convicted of brutal 'hatchet' killing

Stewart Co. man convicted of brutal 'hatchet' killing

STEWART COUNTY, GA - A Stewart County man who shot and hacked a man to death in 2015 will spend the rest of his life in prison.

It took jurors 22 minutes to convict James Eggleston, 73, of felony murder.

In July 2015, he shot 69-year-old Richard Byrd in a cabin, then hacked him more than 100 times with a tomahawk-style hatchet.

Eggleston was Byrd's landlord. Investigators found the hatchet in Eggleston's Lumpkin home with Byrd's blood on the weapon.

Eggleston fled the state and was arrested in Wentsville, Missouri after his truck broke down.

Officers found the 9mm pistol used in the slaying, which Eggleston still had.

Southwestern Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Lewis Lamb prosecuted the case, and thanked the GBI agents and forensic scientist for their work on the case.

He said the decision by the jury will bring justice to the Byrd family.

Eggleston was sentenced to life without parole, plus five years in prison.

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