Prosecutor: Man killed cop to avoid going to jail

TOMS RIVER - Prosecutors say the Lakewood man accused of killing a Lakewood patrolman last year knew police were coming to arrest him on outstanding warrants when he opened fire.

At the start of Jahmell Crockam's murder trial in Toms River today, Ocean County prosecutors said the defendant had vowed several times to friends that he would sooner kill a police officer than go to jail. Crockam is charged with murdering Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz on Jan. 14, 2011.

Meanwhile, the defense argued that there is no evidence linking Crockam to the shooting. Crockam's lawyer, Mark Fury, says police arrested the wrong man, predicting none of the prosecution's witnesses will be able to reliably identify Crockam as the shooter.

Fury says several prosecution witnesses are admitted criminals who have every incentive to testify untruthfully. Fury stated, "There ain't no gun. There ain't no DNA," he said. "There ain't no good fingerprints. There ain't no good witnesses. Officer Matlosz was killed by a guy in dark clothing. And that's all they have."Jury selection begins in officer murder trial

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