KEY POINTS

  • Eric Banks Jr., 34, was charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as child abuse
  • The body of Banks' 15-year-old stepson, Dasan Jones, was found in his attic's crawlspace
  • Banks remains on the force while being in custody, but his police powers have been suspended

A 34-year-old police officer in Baltimore, Maryland is facing murder and child abuse charges over the death of his teenage stepson, whose body was found hidden in his stepfather's attic crawlspace last week.

Eric Banks Jr. was charged with first- and second-degree murder and child abuse in connection the death of 15-year-old Dasan Jones, NBC News reported, citing online court records filed Tuesday.

Banks was initially arrested on charges of assault on a police officer and trying to disarm an officer, Anne Arundel County officials said Wednesday at a press conference.

Officers had gone to Banks' home on July 6 after receiving a call regarding a child custody dispute from Jones' mother, who was on her way to pick up her son from Banks, local radio station WBAL Newsradio 1090 said in a report.

Banks had told officers that Jones had already left his home without his belongings and agreed to have the policemen search his residence, authorities said. He was described as being "deceptive throughout the engagement" by Anne Arundel County police chief Amal Awad.

Police were able to locate Jones' body in an attic crawlspace at Banks' Curtis Bay townhouse, WJZ 13 reported. They also found his wet, blood-stained clothes —which smelled of bleach — in a dresser drawer. 

The teen had sustained injuries to his neck, face and mouth, according to charging documents obtained by the outlet. A medical examiner would later rule the death a homicide by asphyxiation.

Banks was placed in handcuffs following the discovery, but he attempted to grab an officer's fun, according to police.

"It took several officers to intervene to get Banks into custody," Awad was quoted as saying by WBAL Newsradio 1090. "There were moments when our officer was struggling with Mr. Banks."  

"During this altercation with police, Mr. Banks said, and I quote, 'My life is over. Choke me. Choke me. Choke me,'" Anne Arundel County police spokesperson Justin Mulcahy said.

Banks is being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center. He still remains on the force but with his police powers suspended.

Warren Brown, Banks' attorney, said his client plans to plead not guilty.

"My client adamantly denies being involved in the death of DJ," Brown told WJZ 13.

police-224426_1920 Representation. Police had discovered the body of 15-year-old Dasan Jones in the home of his stepfather, 34-year-old Eric Banks Jr. Photo: Pixabay