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Press Release

Newport News Man Sentenced to 45 Years for 2009 Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to 45 years in prison for his role in a 2009 murder in Newport News.

Bryan Lamar Brown, 31, was convicted following a jury trial on April 17, along with co-defendants Mark Xavier Wallace of Williamsburg and Joseph James Cain Benson of Boston, 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. Brown, Benson and Wallace planned to commit a home invasion of 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. After the murder, Brown drove the co-defendants away from the scene. Shortly thereafter, Brown had the firearms used in the murder transported to New York City to be resold for profit. Unbeknownst to Brown, law enforcement had a court authorized wiretap and overheard Brown setting up the deal to get rid of the murder weapons.

Benson and Wallace are scheduled for sentencing on July 24 and August 6, respectively.

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.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated July 19, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime