Former Sergeant Pleads Guilty To Stabbing Fellow Fort Stewart Soldier 40 Times in Revenge Killing

October 27, 2022Matt White
fort stewart booker

Byron Booker, right, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, to the 2020 murder of Spc. Austin Hawk, left. Booker, who had been kicked out of the Army, admitted that he had entered Fort Stewart through an unguarded gate and stabbed Hawk 40 times as the 21-year-old slept. Photo of Austin Hawk via GoFundMe. Photo of Byron Booker courtesy of the Department of Justice.

Just after midnight on June 17, 2020, a former soldier named Byron Booker left his home near Fort Stewart, Georgia, intentionally leaving behind his cell phone. He wanted police to trace it and believe he had never left.

Booker drove to a Fort Stewart gate he knew was unguarded, entered the base, and walked a mile to reach Barracks Building 3006, where he knew that Spc. Austin J. Hawk would be asleep in room 208.

Booker had been a sergeant while Hawk was a well-liked soldier in Fort Stewart’s 92nd Chemical Company. Hawk had reported Booker to their chain of command for marijuana use, “poor leadership, poor military performance, and maltreatment of subordinates,” according to federal authorities. And Booker had found out.

When Booker got into Hawk’s room, he stabbed Hawk 40 times.

fort stewart

Spc. Austin Hawk was murdered by a former fellow soldier in June 2020. Photo via GoFundMe.

Then he walked the mile back to the gate, quickly got rid of his bloody clothes, and disappeared.

Booker, who was arrested the next day, pleaded guilty to Hawk’s murder Thursday, Oct. 27, in federal court and now faces spending the rest of his life in prison under minimum sentencing laws. Federal prison has no parole.

“Byron Booker murdered a former fellow soldier in cold blood in retaliation for that soldier performing his duties as a service member,” US Attorney Estes, a retired Army colonel, said in a Department of Justice release. “The FBI and the Department of the Army Criminal Investigative Division did outstanding work in solving this despicable crime and bringing Booker to justice.”

Booker’s co-defendant in Hawk’s killing still faces charges of conspiring with Booker. Jordan Brown, 21, of St. Marys, Georgia, still faces a slew of charges for helping Booker’s plan for “silencing” Hawk, federal prosecutors said.

Hawk’s murder led Fort Stewart to add 8-foot fencing and razor wire where Booker had entered the base.

On a GoFundMe page set up after Hawk’s death to defray costs of attending Booker’s trial, his mother wrote: “Austin loved his family and friends. Austin leaves behind his parents Andrew and Julie Hawk, his disabled older brother and his twin sister. The heinous murder of Austin has left his family devastated. They are in disbelief to find out their beloved son was murdered by his fellow servicemen. No family should have to endure what Austin’s family have had to go through. It is unimaginable to realize your child who is serving his country would be murdered by the very people who he called his brothers.”

Read Next: Qatar May Halt Afghan Refugee Flights During World Cup Soccer Tournament

Matt White
Matt White

Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved