Deputies: Gang member charged years after man was killed walking into home with family

Deputies: Gang member charged years after man was killed walking into home with family

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — We’re learning about a break in a 2 1/2-year-old cold case murder.

Paulding County sheriff's deputies and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged 31-year-old Damon Hamilton with the January 2017 murder of Mark Phillips.

The investigators said Hamilton was a gang member and said he and at least one other person had broken into Phillips' Paulding County house and were waiting for him to get home. That's when Phillips was attacked and shot to death.

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Phillips' wife and kids were also there but were not hurt.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the victim's wife doesn't live in Georgia anymore but his brother and sister both live in DeKalb County.

Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman talked to them about this big break in the case.

“It’s just been so heartbreaking and overwhelming, just waiting to at least get someone in custody,” said the victim's sister, Queena Phillips. "We was a very close family. He was the baby brother. We're still seeking answers on why. Why did it happen?"


Investigators think the victim may have been targeted but don’t know why.

“As a result of an exhaustive amount of hours working this case, they were able to generate some new leads,” Paulding County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ashley Henson ​said.

While investigators are not going into specifics on what led to Hamilton’s arrest, they said the investigation is far from over.

“Detectives and agents are adamant that there are multiple individuals involved in this case,” Henson said.

Investigators said they hope this story can help lead to those additional arrests.

“We're still seeking closure as far as the other suspect that was in charge of his murder and if anyone has any information that they can share,” Queena Phillips said.

Hamilton is facing four felony charges including murder and aggravated battery. He's being held at the Paulding County Jail without bail.