Victim’s family wins bid for upgraded charges in Edge District murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A mother has scored a victory in her 18-month-long quest to bring her son’s accused killers to justice.

Charges have been upgraded against two men originally only charged with reckless homicide after killing 25-year-old Jonathan Booker and wounding three other innocent bystanders.

Booker was leaving an Edge District event venue in December 2017 when a group of men started shooting and a stray bullet hit him.

“He’s pretty much made all the right decisions in his life, all good decisions and it still happened to him,” said his mother Lorri Booker.

Booker’s mother had hoped to see first degree murder charges, but in February 2018, Calvin Smith and Hayden Bowen were charged only with reckless homicide.

“They’re not prosecuted to the highest degree that they can be,” Booker said.

But this week, both men are in jail on new charges. Each of them is charged with two counts of criminal attempted first degree murder and employing a firearm with intent to commit a felony.

“I’m glad they got the charges. It’s everything we’ve worked for for almost a year-and-a-half,” Booker said.

But there’s still work to do.

Police still want to speak with men seen in surveillance video from the night Booker’s son was shot. If new arrests are made, Booker is confident justice will finally prevail.

“I think there’s gonna be a murder one charge. I feel like it’s going to be there,” she said.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s office didn’t return an email from WREG asking about the new charges.

Smith and Bowen are due in court next month.

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