CINCINNATI — A federal trial date is set for a suspected shooter.

Joshua Cordell Lee Williams, 18, will go before Susan J. Dlott, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, on Dec. 14 for charges stemming from a January shooting death in Wilmington.

A trial was originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 13.

Williams faces charges of using a firearm in a violent act during a drug trafficking offense — resulting in death — and drug possession with intent to distribute.

Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens told the News Journal in July the case was transferred to the Cincinnati Division of the FBI. Williams is being charged with alleged possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

If found guilty, Williams could face up to 10 or more years in prison.

Williams, along with Christian Terry, 22, and Corey Ruffner, 22, are suspected of being involved in the shooting death of 23-year-old Layne Hall in January.

Terry and Ruffner were charged with alleged murder, involuntary manslaughter, and robbery. The two have trial dates scheduled for October.

A fourth suspect, Kevin Noe Jr., pled guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in August, dismissing the other charges. Noe received a six month suspended jail sentenced and three years of community control.

Court documents stated that Hall, Terry, Noe, and Ruffner, allegedly rode in a car together to meet someone at the Brownberry Apartments parking lot; soon after the four arrived, the person they were to meet — allegedly Williams — arrived. Gunfire was heard shortly after.

Although court documents don’t allege that Terry, Noe, or Ruffner purposely killed Hall, it alleges that if they had not taken part in initiating a robbery, the death would not have occurred.

Williams is suspected of directly causing Hall’s death. Moyer said during the indictment that the charge against Williams — unlike the charges against Terry, Noe, and Ruffner — alleges the “purposeful killing of another” as a direct consequence of his own action.

Williams rejected a plea deal in early July.

A final pretrial is scheduled for Nov. 18.

By John Hamilton

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