Suspended Baltimore Police Officer Sentenced to 42 years in Prison for Murder of Teenage Stepson
Suspended Baltimore police Officer Eric Glenn Banks Jr. was sentenced to 42 years in prison for the July 2021 murder of his 15-year-old stepson Dasan “DJ” Jones, as well as trying to disarm law enforcement at the time of his arrest, State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today.
Banks entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder and attempting to disarm a police officer in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis on October 4, 2022.
“DJ was a promising young man with his whole life ahead of him,” Leitess said. “A rising sophomore at Glen Burnie High School, he was a member of the all-county orchestra as a talented violinist and attended a challenging magnet program which he said ‘made him want to work harder.’ His budding life was taken by his stepfather in a likely selfish effort to punish his estranged wife who was granted a protective order just hours before.
“I am grateful that responding county officers insisted that DJ be located before they left the premises. I have no doubt that Banks’ two other children were in grave danger as well given the behavior of the defendant that day. This tragic case highlights the reality of the danger children can face when their caregivers are in crisis and all those who are in the position to intervene, must take that risk seriously.”
Banks and his estranged wife Latrice Banks, who is Jones’ mother, had attended a hearing for temporary restraining orders just an hour before Anne Arundel County police were called to Banks’ Curtis Bay home on July 6, 2021. Latrice Banks told officers she was there to retrieve her son from the home, but had gotten no response from the teen other than a text message saying he had fled the residence.
After police searched the neighborhood to no avail, Banks consented to officers searching his home where they located Jones deceased inside the wall of the top floor loft. Two young children who Banks shared with his estranged wife were located inside the home unharmed.
While handcuffed, Banks became combative with police and at one point tried to take an officer’s gun, saying that his “life was over,” and telling police to “choke me, choke me.” When questioned, he claimed to have found Jones gurgling in the bathtub and panicked. The death was later ruled a homicide with injuries consistent with an assault.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Poma on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County, with the Honorable Stacy W. McCormack presiding.
If you or someone you know is at risk for domestic violence, please contact the Anne Arundel County Domestic Violence hotline at 410-222-6800.