Covert cold case crackedPublished 9:24am Tuesday, November 10, 2009
LANSING – Attorney General Mike Cox Monday announced a major break in a decade-old cold case murder investigation resulting in the arrests of four individuals accused of brutally beating and running over Deborah Boothby of Covert Township.
Boothby was killed in April 1998 in Van Buren County. Her murder remained unsolved for more than 11 years.
The Michigan State Police and Covert Township Police Department re-opened the investigation in 2007, and were able to determine that Boothby was beaten in one location before being placed unwillingly into a vehicle and taken to another location, where she was beaten again.
The defendants then dumped Boothby, still alive, on Blue Star Highway, where they ran her over with two vehicles in an attempt to stage a hit-and-run accident.
Boothby died shortly after EMTs arrived on the scene.
Ivory Shaver, 47, and Shevolier Gill, 32, both of South Haven, were arrested and arraigned Nov. 9 in South Haven’s Seventh District Court.
Ivory Shaver’s nephew, Scottie Shaver, 33, also of South Haven, was arrested Monday afternoon and was scheduled to be arraigned shortly.
Ed Foster, 40, of Conyers, Ga., was arrested in Indiana and was awaiting extradition.
All four are charged with premeditated murder and first-degree felony murder and face life in prison if convicted.
“This crime was particularly barbaric,” said Cox. “Deborah Boothby’s family has waited more than a decade for answers and for justice. Today’s charges are the first step towards providing them.”
The arrests are a result of a joint effort between the Attorney General’s office, the Michigan State Police and the Covert Township Police Department.
All of the defendants will face preliminary examinations before Judge Arthur H. Clarke III in the Seventh District Court West Division.
Last week, Adrienne Burnette, 37, of South Haven, admitted to participating in Boothby’s killing and pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree and one count of perjury-prosecutor’s investigative subpoena in 36th Circuit Court in Paw Paw.
Burnette’s plea requires that she provide truthful testimony against each of the co-defendants charged in the homicide.
This case is the latest assigned to the Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigations, formed by Cox in 2003 to investigate and prosecute public corruption cases and cold case homicides.
The unit has conducted more than 50 public corruption investigations; has convicted serial killers Coral Watts and John Rodney McRae; and has succeeded in numerous cold case convictions, including Timothy Dawson and six defendants convicted for the murder of Janet Chandler.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation.
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.