South Georgia Crime & Safety

Arrest Made in Connection with Death of Priscilla Hooks

arrest photo from person connected with the death of Priscilla Riner Hooks

An arrest was made in connection with the death of Priscilla Riner Hooks.

The news, first reported by Emanuel County Live, comes more than two years after the death of Priscilla Hooks. She was found dead in a church cemetery in September 2019, but the fact that she was out on bond and awaiting trial for murder herself. The circumstances prompted the involvement of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 12 field office.

Emanuel County Sheriff Jeffrey Brewer has routinely reviewed evidence in cold cases since taking office. He was reviewing the Priscilla Riner Hooks case when he discovered leads in need of follow up.

His office, along with the GBI, conducted interviews which prompted the arrest of 22-year-old Georgiana Nicole Stephens. Stephens, who resides in Swainsboro, was arrested in Dublin.

From the press release:

[Stephens was charged with] concealing the death of another person, tampering with evidence, and false statements…

Investigation revealed Stephens assisted Hooks with concealing the manner of her death and removing evidence after Hooks was deceased. After Stephens’ arrest, she was transported to the Emanuel County Jail.

Pricilla Riner Hooks…was found dead in a church cemetery on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The investigation has been ongoing by the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 12 Field Office ever since.

Murder Charge

Hooks’ death was ruled a suicide after an autopsy was completed by the GBI Crime Lab in Pooler. At the time of her death, Priscilla Riner Hooks was out on bond awaiting trial in connection with the shooting death of her ex-boyfriend Dustin Wilson.

Orders from the judge in that case had her barred from Emanuel County except for court appearances. Her temporary residence had been in Bulloch County, where her vehicle and ankle monitor were found. [I]nvestigators did not believe she came to the cemetery on her own because no vehicles were found at the scene and no weapon was recovered.

Priscilla Riner Hooks was accused of killing her ex-boyfriend in June of 2018. A grand jury indicted Riner Hooks of multiple charges including malice murder, aggravated assault, felony murder, voluntary manslaughter and four counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Riner Hooks posted $65,000 bond in July of 2018.

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Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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