Two ex-soldiers indicted for stabbing soldier to death for “reporting them to leadership”

Raisa Habersham

Savannah Morning News, Ga.

Apr. 14—Two former soldiers were indicted after conspiring to kill another soldier at the Fort Stewart Military Reservation last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Georgia announced.

Newly unsealed indictments revealed Byron Booker, 28, of Ludowici, and Jordan Brown, 21, of St. Marys, conspired to kill Austin J. Hawk, 24, in retaliation for Hawk reporting them to the U.S. Army leadership. Savannah is about 45 miles from Fort Stewart.

Hawk, a U.S. Army specialist, was found dead in his room on June 17, 2020. According to the indictment, Booker and Brown discussed “silencing” Hawk and Brown giving Booker a key to access Hawk’s room.

Booker drove from his home to Fort Stewart and walked to Hawk’s barracks, where he stabbed, cut and slashed Hawk, according to the indictment. The document goes on to allege that Booker disposed of the clothes and shoes he was wearing at the time of the killing.

The indictment also alleges Hawk was killed for reporting Booker to U.S. Army leadership for “poor leadership, poor military performance, and maltreatment of subordinates” prior to Booker’s discharge from the U.S. Army. Hawk was also retaliated against for reporting Brown for drug use during his service, according to the document.

“It is a high priority for our office to pursue justice for members of the military who are victims of violent crime,” Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said in a statement. Estes also commended the FBI, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and other law enforcement officials for their work on the case.

Booker has been in custody since June 18, and is charged with premeditated murder and murder of a member of the U.S. Uniformed Services. Additionally, Booker and Brown face felony murder, burglary, and multiple conspiracy charges.

Brown was taken into custody after a federal grand jury returned the indictment earlier this month. Both men face mandatory life in prison or the death penalty for the murder charges.

There is no parole in the federal system.

Raisa is a Watchdog and Investigative Reporter for The Savannah Morning News. Contact her at


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