A Williamsburg man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison in connection with a 2009 murder in Newport News.
Mark Xavier Wallace, 37, was sentenced Monday for the murder of Louis Joseph Jr., who died after being shot multiple times in the torso at his Newport News home, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
Wallace was convicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after a jury trial April 17. Two other men, Joseph James Cain Benson, of Boston, and Bryan Lamar Brown, of Newport News, were also convicted April 17.
“We will remain steadfast in our fight against violent crime in Tidewater and are increasing our resources as we speak,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Wallace was the leader of a crew that brutally murdered Louis Joseph in his home in 2009. Today’s sentence reflects what happens to those commit heinous crimes of violence. This case is a quintessential example of law enforcement partnerships coming together to fight the scourge of drug violence. I want to thank the prosecutors who brought this matter to trial, the FBI, and the Newport News Police Department for their outstanding work on this difficult case.”
Court documents say Joseph was beaten and shot multiple times as he babysat a 5-year-old child at his home in the Denbigh area of Newport News.
According to the documents, Wallace recruited Benson, who traveled from Massachusetts to Virginia to help commit the drug robbery.
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.
Wallace waited in the car while the robbery took place, the release said.
Evidence suggests the men beat Joseph in the living room after they broke in, then shot him in the den. After being injured, Joseph dragged himself out to the back deck, the complaint states.
Brown was sentenced to 45 years in prison July 19. Benson was sentenced July 24 to life in prison for his role in the killing.