Ex-Army sergeant convicted in brutal stabbing death of soldier in Georgia barracks gets life in prison

A former U.S. Army sergeant who pleaded guilty to stabbing his fellow soldier to death in his Fort Stewart, Georgia barracks in 2020 was sentenced Tuesday to life in federal prison. 

Byron Booker, 29, of Ludowici, Ga., pleaded guilty last October to premeditated murder in connection with the brutal stabbing of Spc. Austin J. Hawk. 

U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker ordered Booker to pay an additional fine of $2,500. There is no parole in the federal prison system. 

Booker’s co-defendant, Jordan Brown, 21, of St. Marys, Ga., is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in December 2022 to assault upon a U.S. servicemember involving bodily injury or a deadly weapon, and retaliation against a witness involving bodily injury. 

As described in court testimony, Booker and Brown plotted Hawk’s death after he reported Brown to superiors for smoking marijuana. Army regulations required Hawk to report such instances as he had been promoted to the position of squad leader and drug use is a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

Court documents say Booker and Brown later agreed something should be done to Hawk because he was a "snitch." 

Federal prosecutors say Booker sneaked into Hawk’s barracks room on June 17, 2020, after parking his vehicle a mile away outside the Fort Stewart Military Reservation and "unlawfully" walking onto the post. Once inside the barracks room, he "slashed and stabbed Hawk repeatedly with a sharp-edged weapon," court documents state. 

A medical examiner noted that Hawk received 40 separate stab or slash wounds and cut his hand during the brutal assault. His body was found in his barracks room the next day. 

"Hawk’s family and friends will never be rid of the pain this senseless murder has caused them, but hopefully it gives them some sense of resolve to know that Booker will spend the rest of his life in prison," Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta said in a statement. 

Get the latest updates on this story on FoxNews.com