On December 24, 1994, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, was getting ready to celebrate Christmas when Samuel Nathaniel Booth was found stabbed to death.
Samuel was a minister at a well-known local church, and his friends couldn’t understand why someone would want to harm a man of God.
‘Shattered: False Prophet,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, explores the murder and how the subsequent investigation led to the killer’s arrest.
Let’s look at the circumstances of the incident and try to figure out where the offender is right now.
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What Caused Samuel Nathaniel Booth’s Death?
Samuel Nathaniel Booth was 55 years old at the time of his murder and lived in a mobile home in Baltimore, Maryland.
He had recently relocated from Bel Air to Baltimore and was employed as a minister at a local church. Despite the fact that he was described as a caring and dedicated clergyman, authorities in Bel Air suspected him of being a drug addict and dealer, according to the show.
When Samuel Booth failed to show up for his church’s Christmas Eve service on December 24, 1994, churchgoers became concerned for his safety.
They didn’t spend any time in alerting the authorities, and cops were soon rushed to the minister’s residence. Officers knocked on Samuel’s door and received no response, but once inside, they were met with a stunning sight.
Authorities discovered Booth inside, stabbed to death in what appeared to be a frenzied attack. The victim’s body had many knife wounds, indicating a hate crime, and detectives were certain that the attacker and victim knew one other.
The cause of death was ultimately revealed to be stab wounds, and the show mentioned that a minor amount of cocaine was found within the victim’s system, which was surprising.
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Who Was The Killer of Samuel Nathaniel Booth?
When word of Samuel’s murder spread, investigators learnt about his alleged narcotics dealings through the Bel Air police department.
Other than two smoking pipes and some drug paraphernalia, the authorities were unable to locate anything related to narcotics or his murder after searching his trailer.
Meanwhile, church regulars and associates strongly disputed the drug theory, claiming that Samuel could never have used drugs under any circumstances.
Instead, they claimed that Samuel was assisting some young people in overcoming their addictions.
The authorities launched their inquiry right away, checking into Samuel’s friends and acquaintances. Despite this, 24-year-old James Thomas Wood approached authorities and surrendered the day after the murder, on December 25.
James claimed responsibility for the killing of Samuel Booth and admitted to stealing $77 in cash and around $40 in crack cocaine from the pastor. According to the show, once authorities grilled James more, he revealed that he and Samuel had been substance-abusing for a few days.
However, when the minister refused to give him any more medicines, James became enraged and stomped on the victim’s head and ribs.
He then stabbed Samuel numerous times with a six-inch kitchen knife before slicing his throat and allowing him to bleed to death. The show also revealed that James’ mother suspected the minister of giving her son with narcotics.
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What Has Happened to James Thomas Wood? Where Is He Today?
James Wood pleaded not guilty in court, but was eventually found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
In 1995, he was convicted to life in jail without the possibility of release for murder, with an extra 20 years for robbery.
As a result, James remains imprisoned at the Jessup Correctional Institution in Jessup, Maryland, with no prospect of parole.
Moreover, according to sources, James has also been ordained as a preacher.
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