Parolee Messiah Booker, 37, who was a participant in the January 2013 armed home invasion that resulted in the fatal shooting of Demitri Hampton, 21, of Riverhead, was arrested yesterday on weapons, reckless endangerment and menacing charges in connection with the May 20 disturbance at River Pointe Apartments.

Booker, 37, of Mastic Beach, also known as Matthew Booker, was charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a C felony, and one count each of Criminal Use of a Firearm in the Second Degree, a C felony Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, a D felony and Menacing in the Second Degree, an A misdemeanor, according to a Riverhead Police Department press release.

Police were called to the apartment complex at 3:50 p.m. on Friday, May 20 for a report of a man with a gun in a parking lot there. Responding officers learned that a single gunshot was fired at the location and numerous disturbances were occurring at various areas of the apartment complex as a result, police said in a press release the following day.

Booker’s arrest came after an investigation by Riverhead Police detectives and members of the United States Marshals Service, according to police.

Booker was arraigned and is in custody at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverside.

The investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Riverhead Police Department at 631-727-4500.

Booker was involved in the January 2013 home invasion that resulted in the fatal shooting of Demitri Hampton, 21, of Riverhead. Hampton, a 2010 Riverhead High School graduate, was shot in a scuffle with armed burglars who burst into the Flanders home of his cousin, where he was spending the night.

Booker in November 2015 was initially charged with second-degree murder in Hampton’s death, but in May 2017 entered a plea on reduced charges after it was revealed during the trial that investigators failed to turn over to defense attorneys more than 100 pages of notes, including evidence others had confessed to the shooting. See prior story: Lead prosecutor in Demitri Hampton murder trial resigns as trial abruptly ends in attempted burglary plea

The lead prosecutor in Booker’s trial, Glenn Kurtzrock, resigned at the request of District Attorney Thomas Spota. Prosecutors have a legal obligation to turn over to defense attorneys favorable information that’s helpful to the defense.

Booker was sentenced to five years in prison under the plea bargain with prosecutors in that case. He was released to parole supervision last July, according to Department of Corrections online records.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.

Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.