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Press Release

Nashville Man Convicted Of Federal Firearm & Drug Offenses After Killing Another During Drug Deal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee

NASHVILLE – A federal jury in Nashville yesterday found a local man guilty of federal firearm offenses following the shooting death of another man during a drug deal in 2019, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Tru Booker, 30, of Nashville, Tenn., was convicted of all counts after a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr.  Booker was previously indicted on charges of possessing, using, brandishing, and discharging a weapon in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine; being an unlawful user of a narcotic in possession of a firearm and ammunition; and possessing a weapon during the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

“I commend the trial team and our partner law enforcement agencies for the excellent investigative work and preparation in seeking justice in this matter,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin.  “This is another example of the cooperative effort underway to systematically remove dangerous criminals and drug dealers from our communities for long periods of time.”

According to testimony at trial, on July 8, 2019, Booker agreed to meet Markus Cantrell in the driveway of his grandmother’s house on Ewingwood Drive, in Nashville, for the purpose of selling Cantrell marijuana.  Booker was sitting in the vehicle with his firearm by his side, preparing a quarter pound of marijuana to sell.  Cantrell entered the vehicle, and shortly thereafter a struggle ensued, with several shots being fired inside the vehicle, resulting in Cantrell being struck in the leg and Booker being struck in the arm. 

The struggle continued on the ground outside of the car, and Booker’s girlfriend and mother came to his aid and began striking Cantrell.  Booker eventually gained control of the firearms, and despite his mother’s pleas to let Cantrell go, Booker shot Cantrell in the forehead at close range, killing him.

Less than three weeks after this incident, Booker was involved in a minor traffic crash in Madison, Tennessee.  The subsequent investigation by Metro Police officers found digital scales; approximately 211 grams of marijuana; 195 methamphetamine pills; Hydrocodone and Xanax pills; $1,238 in cash; plastic baggies; a loaded Taurus, 9mm pistol; and two extended magazines for the pistol.

Booker faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, along with a mandatory consecutive sentence of five years in prison, when he is sentenced later this year.  Additional charges relating to the murder of Markus Cantrell are pending in state court. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Josh Kurtzman and Dwight Artis prosecuted the case. 

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David Boling
Public Affairs Officer

Updated February 25, 2022

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