Joseph Edwards Williams, Tampa, Florida, low level offender freed early from prison over coronavirus fears arrested after committing murder a day after release.
A Tampa, Florida man released from jail last month over fears of prisoners contracting coronavirus is alleged to have committed murder the following day according to reports.
Joseph Edwards Williams was facing drug charges when he and 163 other inmates — considered low level offenders — were freed from Hillsborough County Jail on March 19, according to WFLA, citing the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities believe that Williams was the triggerman who fatally shot a man the next day in the Progress Village area, the report said.
Come Monday, Williams was arrested on an outstanding second degree murder warrant in Gibsonton.
Williams is facing several new charges including resisting an officer, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, CNN reports.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister in a press release, condemned Williams, claiming the felon ‘took advantage’ of the administrative order to free inmates amid the coronavirus pandemic to ‘commit crimes.’
‘Judges, prosecutors, and Sheriffs around the country are facing difficult decisions during this health crisis with respect to balancing public health and public safety,’ said Chronister. ‘Sheriffs in Florida and throughout our country have released non-violent, low-level offenders to protect our deputies and the jail population from an outbreak.’
‘As a result, I call on the State Attorney to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law,’ Chronister reiterated.
Williams was arraigned via video appearance Tuesday and ordered held on a more than $250,000 bond.
Of note, Williams has a lengthy criminal record, showing that he has been arrested for 35 charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
i pray for the fam of the murdered. i also pray that family sues the person responsible for joseph edwards williams release. NOW does he not go to jail against because this precious pos might get sick? https://t.co/A8lpr0wIhf
— Gracie (@Grayciex) April 14, 2020