Duval County

Woman accused of execution-style murder in New York arrested in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A woman accused of killing another woman execution-style in Brooklyn, New York, was arrested in Jacksonville on Monday.

Claudia Banton, 42, of New York, was captured by the USMS Fugitive Task Force at 10900 North Main Street, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities identified her as the wanted suspect accused of killing Delia Johnson, 42, who was shot in the head.

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Employees off North Main Street on the Northside remember seeing dozens of patrol vehicles Monday afternoon.

“(I) saw multiple police vehicles traveling back and forth. There was enough of them that I got up and came outside of that door and looked right over here and there was probably 20 vehicles, most of which were unmarked,” local employee Donny Connell said.

Banton made her first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.

Our law and safety expert Dale Carson said Banton will be tried back in New York.

Carson has years of experience in law enforcement, including time with the FBI.

“(She’ll) be taken back to New York after there’s an identity hearing both state and local, and the departments have communicated with one another electronically. Then they would simply agree to come get her,” Carson said.

She agreed to be sent back to New York to face charges. A judge said he hopes that will happen sometime in the next 30 days.

Action News Jax first showed you the video of the Aug. 4 shooting caught on surveillance camera.

You can see the suspect getting out of the car. It appears she is hiding the gun behind her back. She calmly walks up to the victim, pulls out the gun in front of several others, and shoots the woman.

Johnson was a mother and her family said she didn’t have any enemies that they know of.

Police said her death was an apparent ambush and set up.

“She will give you the clothes right off of her back right there and then, no matter where you was. If you needed something, she would give it to you. My sister did not deserve that,” Johnson’s youngest sister said.

It’s unknown how long Banton was in Jacksonville or if anyone helped her travel or stay here.

However, some local employees aren’t shocked she chose our city to run to.

“We’re a big city. A lot of people look at it as a way to get in and be able to hide. And then you hear about all the crime that goes on here too. It’s not a hard place to hide,” one employee said.

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The fact that Banton was caught here is enough for some to put their guards up.

“Is my building safe at night when I leave? Is it safe for my employees to come in in the morning?” one employee said.

We have reached out to the U.S. Marshals Service for more details on the arrest. We have yet to hear back.