Lakewood stab murder defendant appears headed for trial
A Lakewood homicide suspect with a checkered past risks 30 years to life behind bars if convicted, following his Wednesday indictment by an Ocean County grand jury in Toms River.
Darnell Lee Reeves, 32, faces a first-degree murder charge for the June 23, 2015 death of Hassan Parker, 33, also of Lakewood, according to the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
A conviction would keep him in prison for a minimum of 30 years without the possibility of parole.
Parker was found to have a stab wound in his chest when his car crashed into a pole on River Avenue, at about 11:20 PM. The Ocean County medical examiner later determined the gash to be the cause of Parker's death.
According to investigators, Parker was alone in the car at the time of the crash. Reeves is accused of stabbing him minutes beforehand, while Parker was seated in the car in the parking area of the Martin Luther King Jr. apartment complex, less than a mile from the collision site.
Detectives believe that Parker was trying to drive himself to hospitalization. He died at nearby Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.
A search for Reeves ensued, followed by his arrest. He has been in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River since that point, in default of $1,000,000 bail.
Reeves had a previous brush with the law in Lakewood the preceding January, when he was captured with what investigators described as 87 bags of counterfeit heroin, on Martin Luther King Drive. His bail for that incident was $45,000.
A source close to the investigation said that the drug case has yet to be resolved, and that any possible penalties would be added to any that arise as a result of the murder charge.
The State's case is being prepared by Supervising Assistant County Prosecutor Michelle Armstrong and Assistant Prosectuor Kristin Pressman. Coronato's office did not disclose whether Reeves has legal representation.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.