Joseph Edward Williams, 26, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, on Monday in connection to a March 20 killing in Progress Village, a census-designated place in Hillsborough County.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Williams was released from jail on March 19 alongside more than 100 other inmates, in a decision made to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He had been in jail on drug-possession charges when he was released.
The sheriff's office said Williams "took advantage of this health emergency to commit crimes" just a day after being released.
A man in Florida was accused of killing someone one day after being released from jail over concerns of the novel coronavirus, authorities said on Tuesday.
Joseph Edward Williams, 26, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, on Monday in connection to a March 20 killing, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Williams was released from jail on March 19, while awaiting court proceedings on charges of possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
He was one of more than 100 inmates released from custody in Hillsborough County on a court order that was issued to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities.
All inmates who were awaiting trial for a municipal or county ordinance violation, misdemeanor offenses, criminal traffic offenses, or third-degree felony offenses had been released alongside Williams, according to a court order published by NBC News.
One day after Williams was released, a man was fatally shot in Progress Village, a census-designated place in Hillsborough County. The Sheriff's Office said Williams was involved in the shooting.
Williams is now facing charges of second-degree murder, resisting an officer with violence, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to WTSP, Williams has been arrested 35 times. The sheriff's office said he was previously convicted of felony burglary, possession of a firearm, and five misdemeanor convictions.
"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, nonviolent offense," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement about Williams' arrest. "As a result, I call on the state attorney to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law."
The statement added: "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."
Williams is being held in jail with no bond.
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