ORANGE : Slaying Suspect Arrested in West Virginia

A man suspected of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend last October in Orange has been arrested in West Virginia, authorities said Monday.

James Allen Booker, 28, was arrested Sunday on a fugitive from justice warrant at the home of his grandparents in rural Cannelton, Fayette County Sheriff William R. Laird said.

Booker was wanted in connection with the Oct. 9 slaying of Maria DelMar Alcocer, 26.

Booker was being held in Southern Regional Jail in Beckley, W. Va., on $250,000 bond pending extradition to Orange County. Laird said Booker was born and raised in the Fayette County community of Montgomery.

Police in Orange received a tip early Sunday from an acquaintance of Booker who said the suspect planned to be at his grandparents' home, Lt. Timm Browne of the Orange Police Department said.

Orange investigators in turn notified authorities in West Virginia and Booker was arrested without incident, Browne said.

Browne said Booker spent most of the past three months staying with friends.

"We had a suspicion he was back East. We just didn't know where," Browne said.

Booker, a laborer and bodybuilder, was sought as the primary suspect after Alcocer was shot several times in the upper body at her apartment in the 3800 block of Garden Grove Boulevard.

Police believe Booker forced his way into the first-floor apartment through a window while she was talking on the telephone.

Witnesses told police they recognized Booker running away.

Alcocer's 4- and 6-year-old daughters, who are not related to Booker, were asleep in another room.

The couple had lived together on and off for four years before their breakup last August, police said. Booker then went to Detroit but, intent on reconciliation, traveled cross-country by bus days before the killing to see Alcocer over her objections, police said.

Alcocer had obtained a restraining order to keep Booker away after their split. He was arrested in Orange on suspicion of abusing Alcocer in 1993 and charged a year earlier with attacking her father with a fireplace shovel in Santa Ana during an argument.

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