Appeals Court upholds conviction in Jackson Co. murder

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The state Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Anthony Terrell Booker, who was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping, robbing and killing of an Escatawpa man for his Social Security disability check.

Booker, then 17, was convicted in Jackson County in 2004 in the death of Dorian Johnson, an instructor at Keesler Air Force Base and a Navy retiree.

Booker was the first of four teens to be tried in the capital murder case.

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Prosecutors said the teens attacked and beat Johnson, who was partially paralyzed, at a park in Pascagoula. Johnson, 52, was killed on a dirt road near Mississippi 57 in Vancleave.

Johnson was reported missing New Year’s Eve 2002. Police found his body Jan. 6, 2003, on an abandoned logging road in Vancleave.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in the case.

The Appeals Court rejected Booker’s claims that prosecutors kept blacks off his jury, that his right to a speedy trial was violated and that a videotaped confession should not have been allowed as evidence.