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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jury Convicts Three Men of 2009 Newport News Murder

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal jury convicted three men late yesterday for their respective roles in a 2009 murder in Newport News.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Joseph J. C. Benson, 36, of Boston, Massachusetts, Mark X. Wallace, 36, of Williamsburg, and Bryan L. Brown, 31, of Newport News, were convicted of murder resulting from the home invasion and attempted drug robbery of Louis E. Joseph, Jr. of Newport News on March 13, 2009. Wallace recruited Benson, who traveled from Massachusetts to Virginia to help perpetrate the drug robbery. During the robbery, Benson and another individual entered the home and murdered Joseph, who was shot multiple times. Benson was linked to the crime by DNA evidence found at the scene. Wallace, who was waiting in the car during the crime, left the scene and following the murder Bryan Brown caused the murder weapons to be transported to New York, where they were recovered in an undercover operation.

The men were each convicted of use of a firearm resulting in death, and face a maximum penalty of life in prison when they are sentenced. Bryan Brown’s sentencing is scheduled for July 19, 2018, Joseph Benson’s sentencing is set for July 24, 2018, and Mark Wallace’s sentencing is set for August 6, 2018. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, and Michael C. Grinstead, Acting Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard J. Zlotnick and Lisa R. McKeel are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-45.

Violent Crime
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated April 23, 2018