2nd ex-soldier pleads guilty in ‘silencing’ stabbing death of fellow soldier at Georgia base

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — A second former Army soldier has pleaded guilty for his role in a plot to kill a fellow soldier at a Georgia base.

Jordan Brown, 21, pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a military service member and intimidating a witness, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Prosecutors say Brown conspired with former sergeant Byron Booker, 29, to kill Army Spc. Austin Hawk in June 2020 at the Fort Stewart base.

“The guilty pleas of these two defendants firmly establish their culpability in the despicable murder of a former fellow soldier in retaliation for performing his duties as a service member,” said U.S. Attorney Estes, a retired U.S. Army Colonel. “They will now be held accountable for their bloody conspiracy.”

Booker previously admitted he and Brown discussed “silencing” Hawk in retaliation, according to prosecutors. Brown said he was afraid the Army would kick him out after Hawk reported Brown to U.S. Army leadership for marijuana use.


After getting into Hawk’s barracks room shortly after midnight on June 17, 2020, Booker “slashed and stabbed Hawk repeatedly with a sharp-edged weapon,” according to prosecutors.

Hawk’s body was found in his Fort Stewart barracks room the next day. The medical examiner counted 40 wounds, including a fatal slash across Hawk’s throat. Court documents say Brown was in his own barracks room at the time of the killing.

According to Brown’s plea agreement, he could serve 16.5 years to 20 years in prison. He will be sentenced at a later date.

“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 justice will be served,” said FBI Atlanta special agent Keri Farley.

Booker pleaded guilty in October to a federal charge of murdering a military service member. He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison.

Hawk’s family set up a GoFundMe as a way to support the family financially.

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