Man indicted in arson that killed kids, mom, grandmom

HOSCHTON - A Jackson County grand jury Tuesday indicted Henry Lee Stringer, 34, who is charged with killing his two children, their mother and grandmother in Hoschton on May 30, 2006.

Tuesday's indictment came one year to the day after Stringer, of Auburn, was struck by a train in Buford.

Stringer faces 15 felony charges including six counts of felony murder, four counts of malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children and one count of arson, according to Tamie Thomas, Jackson County court clerk.

The bodies of Stringer's children, 4-year-old J'Manjuan Stringer and his 2-year-old sister, J'Lasia Stringer, along with their mother, Marvelette J'Laine Strickland, 29, and grandmother, Evelyn Strickland, 68, were found in a burning house at 8063 Ga. Highway 332 in Hoschton in Jackson County.

Hoschton covers 2.5 square miles with a population of 1,070.

Six days after the fire, Stringer suffered near-fatal injuries when he was struck by a train in Buford. He was hospitalized nearly two months.

Allison Mauldin, acting district attorney, was unavailable for comment regarding whether the prosecution would seek the death penalty for Stringer.

Former District Attorney Tim Madison resigned effective Monday. He is the target of an investigation regarding the misuse of funds in the Barrow and Jackson county district attorney's offices.

Stringer was arrested about 9:20 a.m. Friday at his Carter Road home in Auburn.

Hoschton Police Chief David Hill said it was the sum total of the circumstances that led to Stringer's arrest.

"The investigation was detailed and thorough throughout the past year," Hill said. "We put everything together and it made a strong enough case. We feel confident that we will have a good trial. It pulls at your heart strings that it took so long and the remaining family members had to go through this."

Hill added he is grateful for the hard work and assistance of the Barrow County Sheriff's Office, the state fire marshal's office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Auburn and Winder police departments.

A motive has not been established, Hill said.

"We have some cases that, even after conviction, you don't know why it was done," Hill said. "This is one of those. We may never know a motive."