Female con artist ‘who shot woman, 42, dead execution style’ in Brooklyn was LET GO by cops


An ex-con accused of fatally shooting a Brooklyn woman in the back of the head in August was allegedly let go by police moments after firing the gun because the officers hadn’t realized the culprit was a woman.

Claudia Banton, 42, of Georgia, was charged Friday in the cold-blooded killing of her friend Delia Johnson, 42, as she chatted with people near a stoop in Crown Heights on August 4.

Banton, who served seven years in a Georgia prison for forgery and has other felony convictions in Georgia and New Jersey. was arrested in Florida earlier this month and extradited to New York.

She refused to answer questions at the 77th Precinct before being arraigned in Kings County Supreme Court on Friday. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said Banton had been pulled over by police right after the execution-style shooting, but was released because the cops had suspected the shooter to be male, CBS reported. 

Claudia Baton was arraigned in New York on Friday after being extradited from Florida earlier this month. Prosecutors said she was let go by police just moments after she allegedly shot dead Delia Johnson, 42, in Brooklyn's Crown Heights

Claudia Baton was arraigned in New York on Friday after being extradited from Florida earlier this month. Prosecutors said she was let go by police just moments after she allegedly shot dead Delia Johnson, 42, in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights

Shocking video shows the female assassin raising a gun to a woman on a Brooklyn sidewalk and shooting her dead. Delia Johnson, 42, was speaking to a group on a stoop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when she was shot in the head

Shocking video shows the female assassin raising a gun to a woman on a Brooklyn sidewalk and shooting her dead. Delia Johnson, 42, was speaking to a group on a stoop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when she was shot in the head

After shooting Johnson multiple times, the suspect who police identified as Claudia Baton calmly returned to a parked car and left. She was arrested in Florida three months later

After shooting Johnson multiple times, the suspect who police identified as Claudia Baton calmly returned to a parked car and left. She was arrested in Florida three months later

Banton has had three prior arrests, one as a juvenile in 1993 and a pair of forgery arrests in 2005 and 2006, where she used aliases Claudia Williams and Claudia Johnson in Georgia and New Jersey, the Daily News reported.   

The fatal shooting was caught on camera as the suspect, identified as Banton, walked up to Johnson and shot her in the head multiple times. 

The shooter could be seen walking calmly away from the scene as Johnson laid motionless on the floor. 

Johnson’s mother Delia Berry said she knew Johnson’s assassin as a ‘family friend’ and the 42-year-old mom of a 17-year-old girl was lured to her death by a phone call.

‘I’m in so much pain, I’m numb…trying my best to hold myself up but the slaughter, that’s what it was,’ Berry told CBS. 

NYPD  issued this image of the female shooter, describing her as 'a dark-skinned adult female, approximately in her mid 20's, heavy build, long blond hair and was last seen wearing black long sleeve shirt, black tights, silver belt around her waist, black and white sneakers, white purse'

Delia Johnson, 42, was a single mother killed in Brooklyn when she was allegedly shot in the back of the head by a person her mother claimed was a family friend

Delia Johnson, 42, (right) was a single mother killed in Brooklyn when she was allegedly shot in the back of the head by a person her mother claimed was a family friend. New York Police Department issued an image of the female shooter (left) identified to be Claudia Banton

It was alleged the killer and Johnson (pictured) had been at a funeral together on the same day she was shot

It was alleged the killer and Johnson (pictured) had been at a funeral together on the same day she was shot 

Delia Berry says she's 'very angry' but 'doesn't hate' the woman who fatally shot her daughter - Delia Johnson - in an execution-style shooting and will 'continue to pray' for her and her family

Delia Berry says she’s ‘very angry’ but ‘doesn’t hate’ the woman who fatally shot her daughter – Delia Johnson – in an execution-style shooting and will ‘continue to pray’ for her and her family

Johnson is seen on the video collapsing to the ground in front of horrified onlookers as her killer calmly makes her way toward a parked white car, gets in the driver’s seat and takes off from the scene.

One of Johnson’s younger sisters, Hadjah Pendley, called the suspect ‘a family friend who came to our family events, celebrations, holidays – whatever you want to call it, she came.’

Berry told PIX 11 that the suspect and Johnson had a tumultuous friendship in the weeks before the murder, saying they would ‘argue about everything.’

She wants to know why Johnson would pull the trigger.

‘Why did you slaughter her like that?’ she asked. ‘I just want to know why.

‘What could she have done to you that you couldn’t come and knock on my door and tell me? I would have straightened it out for both of you all.

‘You are hurting families,’ Berry told the Post. ‘I’m in so much pain, I don’t know what to do.

‘She was my baby,’ Berry said, adding: ‘This person that shot my daughter, may God have mercy on your family, because we put curses on ourselves when we do things.’

Delia Johnson, 42, was shot and killed on a Brooklyn street after attending a funeral for a friend

She was raising a 17-year-old daughter as a single mom (not pictured)

Delia Johnson, 42 (left and right), was shot and killed on a Brooklyn street after attending a funeral for a friend. She was raising a 17-year-old daughter as a single mom

Footage shows the assassin, her purse slung over her shoulder, turn and casually walk to an SUV as her victim lays dead on the sidewalk

Footage shows the assassin, her purse slung over her shoulder, turn and casually walk to an SUV as her victim lays dead on the sidewalk

Delia Johnson lays dead on the sidewalk after onlookers scattered for shelter when the shots were fired.  Her assassin is shown getting into a getaway car

Delia Johnson lays dead on the sidewalk after onlookers scattered for shelter when the shots were fired.  Her assassin is shown getting into a getaway car 

She was last seen getting into the driver's seat and speeding away from the scene

She was last seen getting into the driver’s seat and speeding away from the scene

Mathis Johnson, Delia’s brother, told the New York Daily News that his sister had attended a funeral for an old friend earlier that day. 

Johnson was reportedly talking to some friends afterwards when she received a phone call.

‘She said ‘I’ll be right back,” longtime friend Shawn Johnson, 43, told the New York Post. ‘Twenty minutes later, somebody called me and told me she got shot. I told him he was lying. I was just standing here with her.’ 

Delia Berry, Johnson's mother, said she now wants to know why the suspect killed her daughter

Delia Berry, Johnson’s mother, said she now wants to know why the suspect killed her daughter

Berry, left, said Johnson, right, her first-born child, helped take care of her after she underwent surgery and would bring her food

Berry, left, said Johnson, right, her first-born child, helped take care of her after she underwent surgery and would bring her food

Another of Johnson’s sister, Khadyah Berry, 28, told the Post she was looking for a parking space when she saw an ambulance passing that night, not realizing it was for her sister.

‘I ran down the street trying to get to her, but by the time I got to her, they took her,’ Khadyah recounted, claiming she ‘knew in my heart that somebody called her and knew what it was and set my sister up. Nobody can tell me otherwise.’

She added: ‘My sister didn’t deserve that all.’

Delia’s family members said she was an entrepreneur who was raising her 17-year-old. 

Her mother also described her as her first-born child who excelled in piano and tap dancing, and later took care of her as she became ill.

‘I will never forget when I was in so much pain and she was right there for me,’ Berry recalled to the Post about a surgery she underwent, and how Johnson was the first one at the hospital to help her.

‘I am going to miss her bringing me some food when I wasn’t feeling well,’ she said, adding: ‘When a child can wash and clean their own mother, that’s love.

‘She’d say ‘You know you get [on] my nerves sometimes, Mommy, but you know I love you,” Berry told the Post. ‘I’d say, ‘You get on my nerves too, but I love you too.’



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Written by bourbiza

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