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Suspect Surrenders on Charge of Helping Cousin after Jamilla Smith Murder


The cousin of murder suspect Daniel Harmon surrendered to Aiken County authorities on Friday on allegations he helped cover up the slaying of Jamilla Smith.

Bryan Alexander Hampton Jr., 35, of Augusta, is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Authorities say Hampton knew that Harmon had killed his ex-girlfriend and provided his cousin with transportation in early December. He also purchased cell phones and assisted with the disposal of Smith’s remains, according to an arrest warrant. Hampton did this with the intent of helping him avoid consequences of his crime, the warrant says.

Hampton is being held without bond at the Aiken County Detention Center.

Even though he is accused of assisting with the disposal of Smith’s remains, authorities have not yet found her body. Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said they have followed every lead, searching wooded areas, private property and the Savannah River.

Harmon was taken into custody Dec. 5 on an earlier warrant for domestic violence, which were documented in graphic photos taken by the victim and send to sheriff’s officers. Later, in the missing person investigation, officers charged Harmon with kidnapping and murder.

Authorities say Harmon likely killed his ex-girlfriend on the evening of Dec. 2 in the area of 425 Old Jackson Highway in the Jackson area. Smith called 911, stating her ex-boyfriend broke into her house and was chasing her down the road. On the 911 call, Smith sounded out of breath.

“When the dispatcher asks her where she will meet the deputy, a car engine can be heard revving before Jamilla is heard screaming and the phone appears to drop,” authorities said in a murder affidavit. “A male voice is heard telling Jamilla to get into the car and he will take her to the emergency room. Jamilla continues to scream and can be heard yelling no, don’t touch me, don’t hurt me please, and you hit me.”

Meanwhile, authorities confirmed that Smith had filed an earlier domestic violence report against Harmon with photos being sent to investigators showing her injuries. In the photos, Smith is shown with a swollen face and bruises on other parts of her body. But the domestic violence warrant was never served before her death.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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