Federal grand jury indicts Williamsburg man in home invasion murder

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eastern-district-logoEight years after a drug dealer was found beaten and shot on the back deck of his home in Newport News, a Williamsburg man and two others have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection to the case.

Mark Wallace, 36, of Williamsburg, Bryan Brown, 30, of Newport News and Joseph Benson, 35, of Dorchester, Mass., are accused of shooting and killing a “known drug dealer,” Louis Joseph, during a home invasion on Clipper Drive in March 2009, according to a news release from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Investigators believe the men pried open the front storm door of the house, then kicked in the main front door, according to a criminal complaint filed in open court.

Evidence suggests the men beat Joseph in the living room after they broke in, then shot him in the den. After being injured, Joseph appeared to have dragged himself out to the back deck, the complaint states.

“Joseph died from between five and six gunshot wounds to the torso and thighs. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide,” the complaint says.

The criminal complaint says Benson traveled on a Greyhound bus from Massachusetts to the Tidewater area of Virginia the day before Joseph’s death. It also says Wallace was introduced to a “co-conspirator” just before the robbery and shooting.

Each man faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, although actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalty, the release said.

The indictment for the three men was unsealed Wednesday.