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Suspect in October shooting surrenders

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The father of a 26-year-old man fatally shot on Charleston's East End in October said his family prayed Sunday for the alleged gunman to turn himself in.

The family's prayers were answered when the suspect turned himself in on Christmas Day.

In late November, police issued an arrest warrant for Richard Bernard Hilliard, 24, in connection to the slaying of David Juaboi Booker.

Charleston Police Sgt. Bobby Eggleton said Booker had been shot multiple times on Oct. 11 on a sidewalk on the 1200 block of Milton Street.

Detectives connected Hilliard to the slaying by examining fragments of a white car found near the scene, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

A witness came forward and told detectives that Hilliard was spotted driving a white vehicle that was in good condition before the slaying but had front-end damage afterward. Hilliard also was overheard saying he "wished he could take back what happened" and "I can't believe I did it," according to the complaint.

Detectives issued a search warrant at the apartment of Salita Robinson, Hilliard's girlfriend, in late November.

There they found a white Honda Accord parked outside with damage to the front driver's side bumper that was consistent with the collision that had occurred near the slaying, according to the complaint.

Robinson allegedly told detectives her car was damaged after Hilliard borrowed it the night of Booker's slaying. The car had not been damaged before that night, she said.

Detectives processed the car for DNA evidence and found blood in the rear passenger side doorframe, according to the complaint. The fragments found at the scene also positively matched the car.

Eggleton said police spent nearly a month trying to find Hilliard and arrest him. On Monday, detectives were tipped off that Hilliard had been staying at an apartment at 4984 Colonial Drive in South Charleston.

They got in contact with him and asked him to surrender. He agreed and turned himself in to Charleston Detective J.C. Webb at the 7-Eleven at 4901 Kanawha Turnpike at about 10 a.m., Eggleton said. Hilliard provided a short statement and was arrested for first-degree murder. He is currently being held without bail at South Central Regional Jail.

Rev. D.E. Booker, David Booker's father, said his family has been devastated since his son's slaying, but that they're getting through with God's guidance.

On Sunday, they prayed together that Hilliard would be apprehended. They were relieved when word spread of his arrest Tuesday morning, he said.

Booker had a 2-year-old son and also left behind two sisters, three brothers and his mother, Delores. D.E. Booker said his son had many close family and friends who loved him.

"He was taught the right way of living and I brought him up to believe in Jesus Christ," he said. "Christ is the only way and [David Booker] knew the way."

He holds no animosity toward Hilliard and said he's praying for him and his family.

"We all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God," Booker said. "I'm just praying for him in that no one would do him any harm."

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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