Featured Story

Man who was charged in Demitri Hampton murder arrested for firing gun in Riverhead parking lot

A Mastic Beach man who had been accused of firing the fatal bullet in the 2013 Flanders home invasion that led to the death of Demitri Hampton was arrested Tuesday by Riverhead Town police for allegedly firing a gun near the River Pointe Apartments on East Main Street four days earlier.

Messiah Booker, 37, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, along with second-degree criminal use of a firearm, second-degree menacing and first-degree reckless endangerment following Friday’s incident, police said.

Police were called for a report of a disturbance involving a man with a gun in the west side of the parking lot near Building “J.” Officers who arrived at the scene determined a single gunshot had been fired at the location, according to a media release.

Riverhead detectives and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted an investigation that resulted in Mr. Booker’s arrest. He was processed and held for arraignment, police said. Arraignment information was not yet available and police did not disclose additional details on what led to the disturbance in the parking lot.

The investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police at 631-727-4500.

Mr. Booker was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 in a case that saw the prosecutor have to resign for “inexcusable” conduct of failing to turn over more than 100 page of notes related to the investigation to the defense attorney. The district attorney’s office ultimately offered Mr. Booker a plea deal, which he accepted. The second-degree murder charge Mr. Booker had faced was dismissed and he instead was sentenced on a charge of second-degree burglary. The judge at the sentencing called the end result a “travesty of justice.”

Mr. Booker was released from prison last August.

In November, a 36-page report released by former District Attorney Timothy Sini’s office offered an extensive look into the record of the former Suffolk County prosecutor in that case, Glenn Kurtzrock, which determined there had been a pattern of misconduct that spanned more than a dozen cases dating back to 2004.