Baltimore Police Officer Allegedly Murdered 15-Year-Old Stepson, Who Was Talented Violinist
Investigators said Dasan Jones, 15, whose body was found in an attic crawlspace, died from asphyxiation
A Baltimore police officer was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his 15-year-old stepson, who was found slain in an attic crawlspace, officials said.
On July 6, Anne Arundel County Police responded to a call about a custody dispute. When officers arrived shortly after 4:45 p.m., Eric Banks Jr. said his stepson had left his home without his belongings, officials said during a press conference.
"The officers checked the residence and discovered the teen unresponsive, locating him in an upstairs attic crawlspace," said Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy.
The county's medical examiner said 15-year-old Dasan "DJ" Jones died from asphyxiation and ruled his death a homicide.
Officers immediately detained Banks at the scene. Police say he became combative and attempted to disarm an officer. According to Mulcahy's account, Banks allegedly said, "My life is over. Choke me! Choke me! Choke me!"
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Banks has been charged with first- and second-degree murder, as well as child abuse resulting in death. He is currently being held in jail without bond.
Banks' defense attorney Warren Brown told TV station WJZ that his client suffered from mental health issues and suggested Dasan was already dead when Banks discovered him.
"His position is that he found his stepson dead and he himself was anticipating committing suicide. He wanted to be found with his stepson," Brown said. "I know it sounds bizarre but we're talking about some folks with some mental health issues."
"He was attempting suicide by cop — he was hoping he was going to get shot," Brown added.
Meanwhile, the family of Dasan buried the beloved 15-year-old high school sophomore on Monday. A friend of Dasan's created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.
"This was a young man with a bright future," said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad during a press conference. "He excelled in academics and was an accomplished violinist. His friends said he was someone who would not hesitate to help others."