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Trevonte Jamal Shubert-Helton

Source: facebook / facebook

Georgia investigators are searching for answers after the body of a Black man was found hanging from a tree last week along a hiking trail in North Georgia.

According to Fox 5, the body of Trevonte Jamal Shubert-Helton was found by Georgia deputies February 21 in the Swallow Creek Wildlife Management Area, located near Indian Grave Gap Road near Hiawassee.

The Sheriff’s officer immediately posted about the incident on Facebook, confirming that deputies had found the man hanging from a tree. 

The Georgia Bureau Of Investigation, which was asked to help local law enforcement with the investigation, identified the body on Thursday morning as 29-year-old Trevonte Jamal Shubert-Helton from the town of Sautee Nacoochee.

According to GBI, Shubert-Helton’s death seemed to be an isolated incident based on their preliminary investigation, but investigators are still waiting on the autopsy by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office.

A spokesperson for the GBI told Atlanta Black Star that no additional information will be available until the autopsy report is completed. 

Here is the full release:

Hiawassee, GA (February 22, 2024) – At the request of the Towns County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, GBI agents are investigating the death of Trevonte Jamal Shubert-Helton, age 29, of Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia.

The investigation shows that Shubert-Helton was discovered by a hiker at the Swallow Creek Wildlife Management Area during the afternoon hours of February 21, 2024. The hiker contacted Towns County 911 to alert authorities about the death. The preliminary investigation indicates this death is an isolated incident and Shubert-Helton was by himself at the WMA.

Shubert-Helton will be taken to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy will be performed.

This investigation is active and ongoing.

Was Trevonte Jamal Shubert-Helton lynched?

Until Shubert-Helton’s investigation is completed there is no way to truly know, but what we do know is Georgia has a rich history of the lynching of Black folks in the state. 

Lynching Protest

Source: Afro Newspaper/Gado / Getty

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Georgia has a total of 458 reported lynchings, only exceeded by Mississippi’s toll of 538. 

During the 1880s and 1890s, instances of lethal mob violence increased steadily, peaking in 1899 when twenty-seven Georgians fell victim to lynch mobs. Between 1890 and 1900 Georgia averaged more than one mob killing per month.

The frequency of mob violence declined somewhat in the first decade of the twentieth century, but by 1911 lynch mobs again were active, killing nineteen Georgians.

Of the Georgians who were victims of lynch mobs, 95% were Black, but Georgia’s lynch violence was almost always perpetrated by white mobs, looking to kill Black men. 


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