Court Date Set For NJ Police Shooting Suspect

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A man accused of gunning down a New Jersey police officer is scheduled to make his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.

Jahmell Crockam, 19, is charged with murder and weapons offenses in the death of Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz on Friday.

Crockam was arrested Sunday morning in Camden after police received a tip he was hiding in an apartment there, about 60 miles from the crime scene. He is due to appear at 1:30 p.m. before Superior Court Judge Wendel Daniels in Toms River.

Authorities said Matlosz was on patrol Friday afternoon when he came upon Crockam on a residential street in an area where there had been several drive-by shootings. They said the two spoke to each other for a while in a non-confrontational manner and Crockam suddenly pulled a gun out and fired three shots into the officer, who slumped behind the wheel of his cruiser, his gun still in its holster.

Crockam was wanted for possession of an illegal rifle and hollow-point bullets from a December case, but it remained unclear whether the officer knew that when he approached him, authorities said.

The slain officer’s fiancee and mother attended a candlelight vigil on Monday night that drew hundreds of mourners. Friends and co-workers spoke of his warm smile, his distinctive shaved head, his penchant for texting jokes to sleeping colleagues at 3 a.m., and the time he turned out the lights on a fellow officer while he was in the shower.

His wake will be held Wednesday. Thousands of police officers from around the country are expected to attend his funeral on Thursday.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • WFP

    Hot Blood, Jason, don’t you recognize sarcasm when you see it? Read Fowler’s comment again in full (don’t skip the part about NO FOOD for Jahmell for the year he is incarcerated) and then think about what his intent really might be.

  • Hot Blooded

    Is Bob Fowler serious? And what does MLK day have to do with this killer. Would Mr Fowler want the that same sentence for the killer of Dr. King?

  • Jason Herr

    This comment is for Bob Fowler. I ask you: What is wrong with you? How can you even conceivably suggest such a ludicrous sentence. The 19 year old shot and killed a police officer. You state that Jahmell Crockam has his whole life ahead of him. Well so did Officer Matlosz. The comments you (Bob Fowler)responded to were not racially motivated at all. The people were only stating that for such a heinous crime, justice needs to be done. You accuse the people who made the comments of being heartless, but yet Jahmell Crockam was extremely heartless when he shot and killed Officer Matlosz. The sentence you suggest is absolutely ridiculous. A year in jail for killing a police officer and not just a police officer, but a fellow human being. To even suggest only a year in prison for murder is ludicrous. May God bring peace to the family of Officer Matlosz. May God forgive Jahmell Crockam.

    • pete

      I agree…May God bring peace to the family…..may Jahmell Crockam burn in hell

  • Bob Fowler

    What is wrong with all of you? Jahmell has his whole life in front of him, and you are all willing to send him away with never having had to opportunity to have lived?

    In light of MLK Day, how can you be so racially motivated? Didn’t you learn anything? Ok, so maybe Jahmell did something wrong. Is that a reason to take away the rest of his life? Heartless bunch you are.

    I would suggest that a year in prison should be sufficient for Jahmell, as he did use a firearm. For that year, he can have no visitors, no exercise, no tv, and no food. There is really no reason that he should be kept on the public dime for a year. After the year, he can go free, debt to society paid i full.

    I’ll bet that if that was the sentence for felonies, there’d be a lot les of them.

    • pete

      all it will cost the taxpayers is 50 cents…..the cost of a .45 caliber bullet buried between this cop killers eyes….I will donate a dollar…keep the change

  • Chrisie Shaw

    Paul, I am with you 250%, but unfortunately, New Jersey does not have the death penalty, so there will be no execution. But hopefully, he will die a long, slow, extremely painful death when his time comes. It is all we can hope for.

  • Paul Kohloff

    convict and execute done deal,we don’t need to be supporting this garbage

  • Chrisie Shaw

    I hope this animal never sees the light of day again. It’s unfortunate that the state has to waste hard earned taxpayer dollars that will keep him alive and fed in jail. Hopefully he will get a judge that gives him life with no chance of parole, ever. My prayers go out to a family that lost a son, a policeforce that lost a brother, and above all, a fiancee that will never know what it was to have walked down the aisle to have married the love of her life. May Officer Matlosz rest in peace.

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