General Crime

Paul Booker Pleads Not Guilty To Murder And Sexual Assault Charges In Oakland

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A convicted felon pleaded not guilty today to charges that he murdered a man last July and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl he abducted last June.

Paul Booker, 27, of Oakland, was charged last summer with kidnapping for ransom, torture, assault with a firearm and other charges. He allegedly abducted the girl in East Oakland on June 3, 2013, sexually assaulted her and tried to make her work as a prostitute.

The other charges against Booker for that incident are sexual penetration by a foreign object, soliciting a minor to prostitute, attempted pandering by procuring and attempted human trafficking of a minor for commercial sex.

While Booker was in custody on that case, Oakland police also developed information that he was responsible for the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Steven Cotton of Oakland in the 2300 block of 88th Avenue in East Oakland at about 2:30 p.m. on July 9.

Authorities did not develop enough evidence to charge Booker in that case until last December.

Booker is charged with murder, discharging a firearm to cause death and being an ex-felon in possession of a gun in connection with Cotton’s death.

Prosecutors allege that Booker has four previous felony convictions: carjacking, possession of a firearm by a felon and two convictions for possession of a controlled substance.

His prior convictions could increase the length of his prison term if he is convicted in his murder and sexual assault cases.

Booker is scheduled to return to court on April 14 for a pretrial hearing.

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