A former U.S. Army sergeant, Byron Booker, was sentenced to life in federal prison without parole last week for the premeditated murder of another soldier at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Booker admitted to killing Specialist Austin J. Hawk in his barracks room in June 2020. The murder was retaliation against Hawk for reporting his co-defendant in the attack, Jordan Brown, to army leadership for drug use; the two apparently intended to “silence” Hawk. Brown has also entered a guilty plea to related charges and is awaiting sentencing.
“Byron Booker squandered his own military career by illegally using drugs, and then murdered a former fellow soldier in cold blood in retaliation for that soldier honorably performing his duties,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia David Estes said. Estes is also a retired U.S. Army Colonel.