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January 18, 2021

Suspect accused of killing Brewerytown man walking his dog was out on reduced bail

Josephus Davis posted bail two weeks before allegedly killing Milan Loncar

Investigations Arrests
Davis Josephus Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Josephus Davis, 20, has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Milan Loncar, a 25-year-old Brewerytown man who was killed while walking his dog.

A 20-year-old man has been charged in the fatal shooting of Milan Loncar, a 25-year-old Brewerytown resident who was killed while walking his dog Wednesday. 

Josephus Davis has been charged with murder, first-degree conspiracy, second-degree robbery and illegal firearms offenses, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Sunday.

Davis has been in custody since being arrested Wednesday night by police for allegedly stealing a vehicle — an event unrelated to Loncar's killing. He has been charged separately with receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. 

Davis will not be eligible for pretrial release on cash bail, Krasner said. Just two weeks before Loncar's killing, Davis was released on substantially reduced bail in an armed kidnapping and assault case, court records show.

He posted $20,000 bail on charges of motor vehicle theft and kidnapping, plus another $12,000 on charges that included aggravated assault on a prison guard. Those totals, posted Dec. 29, were reduced from $100,000 and $200,000, respectively. 

Court records show Davis has been arrested five times since January 2019. He was charged last February with kidnapping for ransom, robbery and car theft, and remained in prison for most of 2020.

Krasner, whose bail policies have drawn criticism, said that his office argued that Davis' bail was lowered by judges over prosecutors' objections. 

"So we are clear, the District Attorney's Office does not set bail," Kranser said. "The judiciary sets bail, after hearing arguments from the prosecution and the defense. We will have more to say on this matter as more information from our partners in the criminal justice system becomes available." 

Davis was arrested at 8:35 p.m. Wednesday when police stopped a car connected to a carjacking from Tuesday, police said. Davis, the driver, was among four men who fled the car when approached by police. 

About 90 minutes earlier, Loncar was walking his dog when he was robbed and killed near 31st and Jefferson streets in BrewerytownLoncar was transported to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:30 p.m.

Surveillance video showed two men approaching Loncar while he was walking his dog on Jefferson Street, police said. The men reached into Loncar's pockets before shooting him in the chest and fleeing.

Loncar called for help before dropping his phone. Police found him lying on the sidewalk with his dog by his side. 

He was killed about a block from his home on the 1400 block of North Corlies Street. Neighbors told police that Loncar often would be seen walking his dog in the area.

"This violent act robbed a young man of his life and future, and inflicted additional violence on the family and community that grieves him," Krasner said. "The harm caused by the individuals responsible extends farther outward, to the neighborhood and city where a young man was killed in the early evening hours while walking his dog. It's not fair, nor is it just — but sadly, it is directly related to firearms outnumbering people in a vacuum of reasonable regulation."

Krasner said prosecutors will continue working to charge everyone involved in the killing. A second person of interest has been identified. 

There was a reward of more than $77,000 from the police and a family-generated GoFundMe campaign for information leading to an arrest.

Loncar graduated with an engineering degree from Temple University in December 2019 and worked for the construction firm Whiting-Turner. 

He was originally from Wayne and attended Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Chester County.

CORRECTION: This story was updated Tuesday, Jan. 19 after police provided new information regarding the defendant's name.

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