Anne Arundel County State’s Legal professional Anne Colt Leitess introduced as we speak that Joseph Willis, 22, of Pasadena was sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences in jail for one rely of first diploma homicide within the dying of Christopher Jones and tried first diploma homicide of Anne Arundel County Detectives William S. Ballard and Ian Preece throughout an hours-long manhunt.
Willis entered a responsible plea on November 24, 2020.
“I hope as we speak’s sentencing gives the household of Christopher Jones and Detectives Ballard and Preece with a way of aid and justice,” mentioned State’s Legal professional Anne Colt Leitess. “Greater than a yr in the past, Mr. Willis killed Mr. Jones in chilly blood whereas he slept, stole his automotive, after which shot at two veteran legislation enforcement officers whereas making an attempt to cease him from persevering with his crime spree: Det. Ballard was shot within the face which resulted in vital harm inflicting him to lose enamel, bear intensive reconstructive surgical procedure and have his jaw wired shut for months and Det. Preece was hit by gunshot projectiles fired by the assailant-one hitting his proper arm, one other grazing the precise facet of his torso and a 3rd gunshot projectile going straight via his headrest and narrowly lacking his head. Mr. Willis’ mindless actions traumatized our neighborhood by forcing colleges to shut and neighborhoods to lock down throughout the 16-hour manhunt. At present, the defendant was held accountable for these heinous crimes. In sufferer impression statements, household and pals expressed the overwhelming quantity of grief they proceed to expertise within the lack of Christopher Jones, who they described as a ‘good type particular person’ and ‘a mild soul with an enormous coronary heart.’ We prolong our deepest condolences to the Jones household and are grateful that Detectives Ballard and Preece are making wholesome strides of their restoration. Their service to our county has been immense and we’re lucky to have them as Anne Arundel County police officers.”
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Assistant State’s Legal professional Jason Steinhardt prosecuted the case on behalf of the residents of Anne Arundel County.
On February 5, 2020, 911 operators received a call from a resident who lives in the 600 block of Newfield Road in Glen Burnie who reported his roommate, later identified as Christopher Lawrence Jones, deceased. The resident suggested it appeared that somebody had ransacked the house and overwhelmed Jones to dying. The caller additionally said that Mr. Jones’ car was lacking and that he believed that Jones’ buddy, “Joe” from the Brooklyn Park space took Mr. Jones’ car, a 2010 Toyota Camry. When police arrived to the situation, they discovered Mr. Jones mendacity on his mattress with traumatic head accidents. Foreign money and jewellery have been lacking from the house. An Assistant Medical Examiner on the Workplace of the Chief Medical Examiner discovered that the style of dying was murder from blunt pressure trauma.
Whereas executing a search and seizure warrant on the residence, Anne Arundel County police officers acquired a radio transmission that two Anne Arundel County detectives had been shot. Det. Preece and Det. Ballard, members of the Anne Arundel County Police Division Fugitive Apprehension Staff, responded to Brooklyn Park after receiving discover that Mr. Jones’ car was captured on a license plate reader close to Church Avenue in Anne Arundel County. Det. Preece pursued the car with lights and sirens activated at roughly 11 p.m. because it left Anne Arundel County and drove into Baltimore Metropolis. In one other car, Det. Ballard drove up subsequent to the stolen car and the motive force of the car shot Det. Ballard in his face. Det. Ballard was in a position to make use of his police issued radio to inform that pictures have been fired, however may solely textual content his fellow officers he was shot. Officers responded to help Det. Ballard who was transported to College of Maryland Shock Trauma Heart the place he suffered vital harm, together with lack of enamel and the ensuing reconstructive surgical procedure.
Det. Preece continued pursuit of the car when he was then shot in his proper arm and grazed on the precise facet of his torso, with one projectile going straight via the detective’s headrest, the place he narrowly missed a doubtlessly deadly gunshot wound. Det. Preece struck the Toyota Camry on the motive force’s facet in an effort to cease the car. The driving force, later recognized as Willis, exited the stolen car and fled the scene. Det. Preece was subsequently transported to College of Maryland Shock Trauma Heart and underwent surgical procedure for his accidents.
On February 6, 2020, police executed a search of the residence that Willis shared with one other man and located an empty handgun case, ammunition field with ammunition and numerous managed harmful substances. Police linked latent prints recovered from the inside and exterior storm door on the crime scene and matched them to the defendant, Joseph Willis. Roughly sixteen hours after the manhunt started, police situated Willis inside a house within the 1300 block of River Bank Courtroom with two different people who have been additionally arrested. Inside the house have been medication that Willis later admitted have been solely his. Willis was arrested and suggested of his Miranda Rights and admitted to murdering Mr. Jones and capturing each Det. Ballard and Det. Preece.
The Honorable Michael J. Wachs presided over the case.
Under is the 2020 Crime Map with extra particulars on the case.