Tampa, FL-A week after a Florida man was released from jail due to the coronavirus spread, he was arrested on murder charges.
Joseph Edward Williams was released on March 19 following the issuance of an administrative order aimed at lowering the risk of COVID-19 spread. Williams, 26, was being held at the Hillsborough Count Jail on a $2,500 bond for felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
A week later, Williams shot and killed someone in Tampa. Williams was arrested April 13 for second-degree murder, resisting an officer with violence, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, authorities said. A judge set bail at $250,000.
"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," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. "Judges, prosecutors, and Sheriffs around the country are facing difficult decisions during this health crisis with respect to balancing public health and public safety. 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."
Police said Williams has a long criminal history that includes felony burglary and drug convictions.