Hours before the police officer he is suspected of killing was to be buried, a teenager was charged today with a different murder.
Jahmell Crockam, 19, of Lakewood already faces murder charges in the shooting death Friday of Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz.
This morning, as mourners were gathering for the officer’s funeral, authorities said Crockam and another man were charged with the Oct. 15 shooting death of Justin Williams, whose body was found dumped on a street corner.
Information leading to the new murder charge was developed as police investigated the slaying of the officer.
The new charges were made public as thousands of mourners, including police officers from across the country, streamed into this community near the Jersey shore to say goodbye to Matlosz, who was shot to death last week behind the wheel of his patrol car.
Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Crockam and another man accompanied Williams to a location Oct. 15, where Williams was shot to death. Prosecutors did not specify which defendant they believe pulled the trigger, but said both men are legally responsible for the killing, and both were charged with murder. They are being held at the Ocean County Jail in Toms River.
Matlosz, 27, was on patrol Friday in a residential neighborhood in Lakewood that had been the scene of several drive-by shootings. He pulled his police cruiser up to a person on the sidewalk and began talking to him in a nonconfrontational manner, authorities said. Suddenly, the pedestrian pulled a handgun out of his baggy clothing and opened fire, shooting the officer three times.
Matlosz slumped behind the wheel, mortally wounded, as the suspect ran away.
On Sunday, police arrested Crockam, who was hiding in an apartment in Camden, about 60 miles from the crime scene. He is charged with murder and weapons offenses, and is being held on $5 million bail. His public defender says Crockam plans to plead innocent at his formal arraignment, which still has not been scheduled.