A jury has convicted a 20-year-old man of murder in the death of a Lakewood police officer who was shot and killed as he sat behind the wheel of his police cruiser last year.
The Superior Court jury in Toms River found Jahmell Crockam guilty of murder and weapons offenses in the Jan. 14, 2011 shooting death of Patrolman Christopher Matlosz.
Crockam, who also is awaiting trial for another, unrelated murder that took place a few months before the officer was killed, could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors say Crockam thought he was about to be arrested on outstanding warrants for weapons offenses, and killed the officer to avoid going to jail.
Crockam's lawyer maintained police arrested the wrong man.
"We believe the defendant was afforded a fair trial, and that the verdict represents a just verdict," said Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford.
Fan, follow and download: Get the latest from NBCPhiladelphia.com anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, our mobile site and NBC Philadelphia. Sign up for our breaking news newsletter. And, get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text PHIBREAKING to 639710 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)