SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Two former Fort Stewart soldiers have been indicted for murder at the barracks, according to the federal court for the Southern District of Georgia.

The U.S. District Court alleges Byron Booker, 28, of Ludowici, and Jordan Brown, 21, of St. Marys, were involved in a murder conspiracy after a soldier was found dead in his barracks room in June 2020.

Mug shot of Byron Booker, 28, accused of killing a soldier at Fort Stewart.
Photo provided by Lewis Levine, Coastal News Service.

The 21-page indictment claims the two murdered 24-year-old Spc. Austin Hawk in retaliation to him reporting some of their actions to U.S. Army leadership.

The men allegedly conspired to murder Hawk for reporting Booker’s “poor leadership, poor military performance, and maltreatment of subordinates” and Brown’s drug use during service, according to Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes.

The indictment also alleges both men talked about breaking into Hawk’s room, as well as “silencing” him. Authorities believe Booker drove to Fort Stewart on June 17 and entered Hawke’s barracks.

He allegedly stabbed, cut and slashed him to death with an edged weapon, according to Estes. He then threw away his shoes and clothes.

Booker was arrested the following day.

“It is a high priority for our office to pursue justice for members of the military who are victims of violent crime,” Estes said. “We commend the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command and other law enforcement partners for their tireless and detailed work on this case.”

Both Booker and Brown face up to eight total charges, ranging from Felony Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Assault, Assault Upon A Member of the U.S. Uniformed Services, Premeditated Murder and more. If convicted of murder, both men face the death penalty or life in prison.