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Public Safety, Virginia

Two Central Virginia men charged in case involving marijuana, murder and arson       

Crystal Graham
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A federal grand jury in Roanoke has charged a pair of Central Virginia men with federal crimes related to a 2023 drug robbery and murder where one defendant sought to dispose of the victim’s body by setting a car on fire.

In an indictment returned April 11, the grand jury alleges that Joseph Richard Walker, a.k.a. “Joe,” 30, of Roanoke, and Garrett Isaac Williams, a.k.a. “Gary,” “Taz” and “Tez,” 21, of Lynchburg, conspired to traffic marijuana; committed robbery; and conspired to commit robbery.

The indictment also alleges Walker discharged a firearm to further the drug trafficking and robbery; possessed firearms as a prohibited person; and committed arson.

“Our dedication to protecting the public from violent offenders in collaboration with our partners is unwavering. We will continue to work together to make our communities safer,” said Stanley M. Meador, FBI Richmond special agent in charge. “This indictment highlights the steadfast commitment of federal, state, and local partners to hold violent criminals accountable.”

According to court records and public documents, beginning around January 2023, Walker and Williams conspired to sell large amounts of marijuana that they bought from the victim in York, Pa.

By early April 2023, the defendants had accrued a $40,000 drug debt to the victim. Rather than pay the debt, they arranged a final marijuana delivery from the victim and planned to rob him when he arrived.

On April 17, 2023, the victim traveled to Walker’s house in southeast Roanoke, where Walker shot the victim twice in the head and stole the marijuana. After killing the victim, Walker loaded his body into the trunk of the car and drove to a rural road in Bedford County where Walker set fire to the car.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Drew O. Inman and M. Coleman Adams are prosecuting the case.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.