Florida Inmate Released Amid Pandemic Killed Someone the Next Day, Officials Say

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Florida Inmate Released Amid Pandemic Killed Someone the Next Day, Officials Say

It was an effort, like many across the country, to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus in jails. But one day after officials in Hillsborough County, Fla., released more than 160 inmates, one of them shot and killed a man in Tampa, the authorities said. The inmate, Joseph Edward Williams, 26, was arrested this week and charged with second-degree murder, resisting an officer with violence as well as drug and gun charges, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Williams had been released on March 19 from the Orient Road Jail in Tampa and committed the murder on March 20, the sheriff’s office said. The case could reignite criticism from some law enforcement officials and prosecutors who have warned that releasing inmates as a public health response to the virus could jeopardize public safety. Image Joseph Edward Williams.Credit…Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Mr. Williams had a criminal history that included previous convictions for burglary of an unoccupied conveyance in 2012 and being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2018, according to the sheriff’s office. But when he was released from jail, he had been issued a $2,500 bond for less serious offenses: possession of heroin, a third-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a first-degree misdemeanor. Latest Updates: Coronavirus Outbreak in the U.S. As Trump pushes to reopen the U.S., experts bemoan a lack of testing. Some states have few cases, says a White House eager to reopen society. Cuomo will require New Yorkers to wear facial coverings in public. See more updates Updated 7m ago More live coverage: Global Markets New York As such, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Mr. Williams met the criteria outlined in a judicial order that authorized the office to release certain low-level offenders in response to the virus. […]

Original Post www.nytimes.com

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