SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A former Fort Stewart soldier has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a former fellow soldier in his barracks room.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, David Estes, 29-year-old Byron Booker, of Ludowici, previously pleaded guilty to premeditated murder of a member of the United States Uniformed Services in the death of 24-year-old Spc. Austin Hawk.
Booker was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.
His co-defendant, 21-year-old Jordan Brown, of St. Marys, awaits sentencing.
Booker, a former U.S. Army sergeant, admitted he and Brown discussed “silencing” Hawk for reporting Brown to U.S. Army leadership for marijuana use.
Shortly after midnight on June 17, 2020, Booker “slashed and stabbed Hawk repeatedly with a sharp-edged weapon.” A medical examiner noted that Hawk received 40 separate stab or slash wounds.
Hawk’s body was found in his Fort Stewart barracks room the next day.
“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 Estes. “The sentence of life in prison with no parole will serve a measure of justice for Austin Hawk’s family, while affirming the outstanding investigative work that led to Booker’s conviction.”