Former Ga. soldier sentenced to life for stabbing fellow soldier to death

A former Georgia soldier has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to stabbing a fellow soldier to death.

Byron Booker, 29, pleaded guilty to “silencing” 21-year-old Army soldier Austin James Hawk at Fort Stewart in June 2020.

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Booker admitted he and a fellow soldier, Jordan Brown, discussed killing Hawk in retaliation for Hawk reporting Brown to U.S. Army leadership for using marijuana.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney David Estes, a retired U.S. Army Colonel.


According to court testimony and Booker’s plea agreement, the former U.S. Army Sergeant “slashed and stabbed Hawk repeatedly with a sharp-edged weapon.”

The medical examiner said Hawk had been stabbed and slashed 40 times. Many of those wounds would have been fatal on their own, the medical examiner testified.

Brown is currently waiting to be sentenced after pleading guilty in December to assaulting a U.S. servicemember involving bodily injury and retaliation against a witness involving bodily injury.

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