Barrow County resident charged with murdering man he accused of burglary

A 75-year-old Hoschton man remained in jail without bond Wednesday on charges he shot and killed a man he suspected of trespassing on his property, according to Barrow County Sheriff’s reports.

Investigators charged Paul Lamar Hamilton with murder, felony murder and three counts of aggravated assault in connection with the death of Brandon Lamar Lay, 34, of Hoschton, who died of a gunshot wound Saturday morning.

Lay was shot to death inside his truck on Old Hog Mountain Road near the Charlie Hall Road intersection, deputies said.

After the shooting, Hamilton told a responding deputy that he approached Lay’s pickup with his pistol drawn and that when he was grabbed by someone in the vehicle, “he then said ‘That’s when I shot him deader than s—.’ ”

Earlier that morning, Hamilton met with the same deputy about a trespassing complaint and he warned “if I catch someone else on my property, you’ll need to call the coroner.”

The events leading up to Lay’s death began shortly after 7 a.m. when two deer hunters, James Leonard Wilson Jr. and his son, Jacob T. Wilson, arrived at some property that Hamilton owned and he apparently gave the Wilsons permission to hunt.

The hunters encountered a U-Haul truck at the gate along with a man and woman. When Wilson told the driver he was calling law enforcement because they were trespassing, the driver put the truck in reverse and tried to run over the older Wilson, according to the report.

Wilson told police the U-Haul hit his pickup and that he pulled his .40-caliber pistol and fired a round into the passenger side tire. The son said when he saw the truck try to hit his father, he used his .270-gauge rifle to shoot a back tire and the engine compartment, according to the report.

The U-Haul then sped off spilling items out of the open rear door onto the roadway.

Deputies went to a house on the property and a door was ajar. Inside it appeared as if no one was living there and it appeared “more like a squatting incident than a burglary,” according to the report. A purse was found that had a cell phone and credit card with the name Teddie Taylor, who was later identified as the woman with Lay at the truck and again when he was shot to death, according to the reports.

Deputies were called to the Old Hog Mountain Road area again at 10:30 a.m. where they saw a Ford Ranger in the roadway and a Lexus in the road blocking the lane of travel.

The officer reported he spoke to Teddie Taylor who told him “her boyfriend was shot and killed” inside the Ranger. The officer looked in the pickup and found Lay in the passenger seat slumped over the seat and bleeding from the nose and mouth, according to the report.

Several witnesses at the location told deputies that Hamliton was responsible for the shooting.

After he was placed in handcuffs, Hamilton told the officer he saw the Ranger pass his home and was advised by a friend that those were the people responsible for burglarizing his home earlier in the morning, deputies said. Hamilton then said he got into his vehicle and followed them to the intersection, where he stopped the pickup and that he engaged in a brief altercation with occupants while they were still in the vehicle.

Hamilton told the officer he drew his pistol as he was grabbed and that he shot the man.