WILMINGTON — A murder suspect’s case has been moved to federal court.
Joshua Cordell Lee Williams, 18, was picked up by U.S. Marshals on a federal warrant Tuesday, according to Clinton County Prosecutor Richard Moyer. Williams was transported to the Butler County Jail awaiting a federal grand jury at the Southern District of Ohio Court.
Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens told the News Journal 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.
Because of this, the jury trial scheduled for the Clinton County Common Pleas Court will not happen.
“(Williams) faces up to 10 years in prison with an additional three to five years on top of that,” said Moyer.
This new development does not affect the additional cases associated with it.
“As far as we know, he’s the one who had the gun,” said Moyer.
Williams, along with Christian Terry, 22, Kevin Lane Noe Jr., 21, and Corey Ruffner, 22, are suspected of being involved in the shooting death of 23-year-old Layne Hall in January.
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.
Noe, Ruffner, and Terry were charged with alleged murder, involuntary manslaughter, and robbery. All three still await their respective jury trials later in the year.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574