Court hearing continued for 2 accused in Franklin County teen's murder

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Family of Hamilton Woods demands justice
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Hamilton Woods Jr., 19, was killed on Jan. 29.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two suspects accused of murdering a teenager last week in Franklin County will be back in court on Friday after their case was continued.

The first hearing occurred a day after the victim's family said their final goodbyes at a funeral service.

Gavin Miller, 18, and Dillon Piper, 19 are charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Hamilton Woods Jr. on Jan. 29.

In a statement from Woods' family, they believe the incident started with an argument between two women known to Woods.

Hamilton Woods Jr was 19 years old.
Courtesy of Woods family

"There's not much I can really say," said Ray Woods, Hamilton's uncle.

The Woods family says they are worried they will not get justice in this case because of how well-known the two families of the suspects are known in the area.

An attorney representing the victim's family says it's his understanding a special prosecutor was assigned Friday evening and needed a bit of time to get up to speed. He also called on the State Bureau of Investigation to step in and investigate if it, the murder was a hate crime.

"And it says that they are members of the Franklin County KKK," said Chance Lynch, the family attorney. "And Franklin is spelled F-R-A-N-K-K-K-L-I-N. And it says you don't want to mess with these of you don't want to mess with them."


Woods spoke about the difficult time the family is going through right now.

"I need my nephew back, not only got his love and his compassion for his family, he was so family oriented, so passionate about his friends being involved with family events. Hamilton just brought so much love," he said.

Community members donated more than $15,000 through an online fundraiser to help with burial costs.

Miller and Piper are being held without bond.

Woods' family held a news conference immediately after the bond hearing on Monday morning.

"We can't afford to have these parents who are already grieving their son to wonder if there are any in-house courthouse connections that will keep justice from taking place and being afoot in Franklin County," Lynch said.