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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2009 Newport News Murder

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Boston man was sentenced today to life in prison for his role in a 2009 murder in Newport News.

Joseph James Cain Benson, 36, was convicted following a jury trial on April 17, along with co-defendants Mark Xavier Wallace of Williamsburg and Bryan Lamar Brown, of Newport News, for their respective roles in the 2009 murder of Louis Joseph Jr., in Newport News.

According to court documents, Joseph was beaten and shot multiple times at his Denbigh home while he babysat a five-year-old child by Joseph Benson. Benson and another individual traveled from Boston to Williamsburg to commit the home invasion of Louis Joseph to obtain money and drugs. Brown transported the co-defendants to Joseph’s house and also supplied the two firearms to commit the murder. Benson and at least one other man entered the home of Joseph, beat him and shot him multiple times during the robbery.

Brown was sentenced to 45 years in prison on July 19. Wallace is scheduled for sentencing on August 6.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa R. McKeel and Howard J. Zlotnick prosecuted 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.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated July 24, 2018