Man indicted in Cincinnati’s first-ever federal murder case, DOJ says

Man indicted in Cincinnati’s first-ever federal murder case, DOJ says
Joshua Cordell Lee Williams, 18 (Source: Clinton County Jail)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Dayton-area man was indicted Monday by a federal grand jury on murder charges in connection with the January homicide of a man from Wilmington.

Joshua Cordell Lee Williams, 19, of Xenia, Ohio is charged with firearms-related murder and drug possession with intent to distribute.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Oho David M. DeVillers calls Williams’s indictment Cincinnati’s first federal murder case.

According to court documents, Williams met with four people on Jan. 21 in Wilmington to sell them marijuana, which they intended to steal.

Williams and the would-be buyers got into a fight and Williams, who was armed, fired the weapon, fatally shooting victim Layne Hall of Blanchester in the chest, the court documents say.

Wilmington police found Hall found shot to death in the 1100 block of Brownberry Drive Jan. 21.

Williams surrendered to Xenia police early January 27, Wilmington city officials said at the time.

Three others were reportedly arrested on murder charges prior to WIlliams’s surrender: Christian Lee Terry, 22, Kevin Lane Noe, 21, and Corey Joseph Ruffner, 22.

If convicted, according to the Department of Justice, Williams faces up to life in prison.

The indictment was announced Tuesday in a DOJ release by DeVillers as well as FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman, Xenia Police Chief Donald Person, Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens and Greater Warren County Drug Task Force and Clinton County Prosecutor Richard W. Moyer.

“Far too often, the combination of drug transactions and firearms results in death. As alleged, this case involves a fatal shooting over a few pounds of marijuana,” DeVillers said. “This case – the first ever federal murder case in Cincinnati – highlights this office’s emphasis on combatting violent crime.

“This office, in partnership with Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters’ office, has initiated a multipronged attack on violent crime. We are concentrating on long-term historical investigations into violent organized crime and at the same time devoting resources to current, ongoing crimes perpetrated by the most violent in our community. Expect more to come.”

Hoffman added: “The violence associated with the illegal drug trade is a scourge on our communities. When law enforcement agencies partner together in a task force environment, as in this case, we can better attack these issues and remove dangerous criminals from the streets.”

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