Florida Man Released from Jail During Pandemic Arrested On Murder Charges

While many correctional facilities and jails are releasing inmates due to the potential of the rapid spreading of COVID-19, a man from Florida was arrested on second-degree murder charges just one day after his early release for drug possession.

Joseph Williams, 26, was arrested on March 13 for possession of heroin, but was released a week later because of health concerns of all inmates in facilities around the country, where Coronavirus has ben running rampant. One day after his release, Williams became the suspect in a murder investigation.

“There is no question Joseph Williams took advantage of this health emergency to commit crimes while he was out of jail awaiting resolution of a low-level, non-violent offense, […] Every murder, every violent crime, especially those involving a gun, is a sickening example of the worst in our community, especially at a time when our community is working relentlessly to fight against the spread of this deadly COVID-19, ” said the Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

“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 Sheriff 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.”

Williams has been now charged with second degree murder, resisting an officer, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. He’s currently being held without bond