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Deborah Boothby Was Beaten to Death While 100 Watched; Now 4 People Arrested

By Denise Grollmus in Douchebags, assault, cold cases, homicide
Monday, November 16, 2009 at 9:00 am
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Deborah Boothby was brutally beaten and killed in front of over 100 witnesses
In the shadow of the most recent case of a Richmond, California girl being brutally raped while dozens of people watched and did nothing, the story of Deborah Boothby is unfortunately all too familiar.

It was sometime after midnight on April 26, 1998 when Boothby entered the Blue Star Lounge in Covert, Michigan. She noticed her on-and-off-again boyfriend, Ivory Shaver, sitting in the corner with another woman -- Shevolier Gill. Boothby wasn't too pleased...

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Ivory Shaver, Scottie Shaver, Ed Foster, and Shevolier Gill have all been charged with first-degree murder
She, Shaver, and Gill all started arguing. But the taunting soon turned into fighting, and the fighting soon evolved into what one witness described as: "dogs fighting over a bone -- and Deborah was the bone." 

Apparently, as the fight headed outside, so did dozens of other onlookers. Soon, a circle formed around Boothby, who was "being kicked, stomped, and hit repeatedly, and it was vicious. And there was a lot of people watching," Michigan State Detective Diane Oppenheim told the Herald Palladium. She claims that over 100 people watched as Boothby was brutally beaten that night.

While several did try to break up the violence, no one -- not even the bar's management -- bothered to call police. Instead, Shaver and Gill, along with the help of Shaver's nephew, Scottie Shaver, and their friend Ed Foster, threw Boothby into their car and headed to another location, where they continued to beat her.

When they thought they'd finally killed the 34-year-old, the foursome took her body out to the Blue Star Highway, where they dumped her in the middle of the road and ran over her twice in order to make it look like a hit and run. A passing motorist eventually saw Boothby's body at around 3 a.m. and called 911. But it was too late. She was already dead. 

For months, local law enforcement ran up against a wall of silence. "It was a community living in fear," Oppenheim said. "What is difficult for us is why nobody had the courage to come forward."

Boothby's mother, Marie Atwood, told police that she thought Shaver may have had something to do with her daughter's death. She'd known him since he was a child and was aware that her daughter's relationship with him had been tumultuous. She'd also heard people around town talking about the brutal beating her daughter had received that night.

But she said the police never followed-up -- and if they did, no one would talk. "From the beginning when I told police that and they didn't want to go with it, they said it was a hit and run," Atwood told WWMT News Channel 3.

​It was only after the case was reopened in 2007 that police were able to figure out exactly what happened that night, thanks to numerous investigative subpoenas. And it wasn't until earlier this month that police were finally able to make arrests -- almost twelve years after Boothby's death.

Last week, 37-year-old Adrienne Burnette admitted to participating in Boothby's murder. She pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and perjury. Shaver and the other three main suspects were also arrested on first-degree murder charges. Burnette has agreed to testify against all of them.


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