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September 21, 2019

Man Sentenced in Great Smokies Church Murder

A South Carolina man has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for stabbing a Whittier man to death inside Smokemont Baptist Church on the Cherokee Indian Reservation.

Forest Dakota Hill of Easley, South Carolina, was sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder.
Court records and testimony showed Hill and two other people drove to the historic Church in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on March 29, 2015. Hill then stabbed 25 year old  Tyler Britton Gaddis, of Whittier, 19 times according to medical reports.
Reports indicate Gaddis was able to call 911 after he was stabbed, the call received at a Cherokee communications center at 2:50 a.m.

“Caller stated that he is inside the building and that he has been stabbed and bleeding all over the place,” according to the report.

According to Gaddis’ obituary at Crisp Funeral Home in Bryson City, he was a native of Jackson County and is survived by a daughter, his parents and a number of other family members.

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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