CURTIS BAY, Md. — A Baltimore police officer has been charged with murder after his stepson’s body was found in a hole in a bedroom wall last week, Anne Arundel County Police Department announced Wednesday.
Dasan Jones’ body was discovered in a concealed manner. The 15-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation. Eric Banks, the teen’s stepfather, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death, according to police.
When the boy’s body was discovered, Banks reportedly tried to disarm a police officer. As a result, he has been in custody since last week, ABC News reported.
Officers were dispatched to Banks’ home on Tuesday, July 6, to investigate a complaint that Jones was being held against his will. Upon arrival, Banks told officers that Jones wasn’t there and had left his packed bags at the back door.
Banks consented to a search for the teen. Officers discovered Jones’ body in a hole in a bedroom wall, which led to Banks’ attempt to disarm one of the officers after he had been handcuffed.
After Banks fought with police, he reportedly said, “My life is over” and “choke me choke me,” according to law enforcement authorities. Consequently, Banks was held without bail on assault, resisting arrest and other charges, according to ABC. However, now that Jones’ death has been ruled a homicide, Banks’ charges have been upgraded to include murder.
“The alleged actions of Officer Banks are not only deplorable, but shocking to the conscience,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement released after the charges were announced. “This is a classic example of why I have advocated for the autonomy and authority to terminate officers when they are facing heinous criminal allegations.”
Banks’ police powers were previously suspended due to an unspecified incident. However, once he was charged with a felony, he was suspended without pay.
Banks’ attorney Warren Brown told the press that Banks tried to take his life a day before Jones’ body was discovered. Banks claims he found the teen dead in a bathtub and that he believed the boy had killed himself.