Raleigh, North Carolina resident Edward Michael Parks, also known as “Lee’ or “Trouble,” has been indicted and charged with two counts of kidnapping resulting in death and one count f witness tampering by killing.
If convicted, Parks faces life in prison or the death penalty if the government seeks it, U.S. Attorney John Durham said.
It is alleged that on Nov. 16, 2015, Parks was in an apartment on Shelton Avenue in New Haven to conduct an illegal sale of firearms. Damian Connor and Tamar Lawrence were also present in the apartment, Durham said. When another person left the apartment with weapons he had not paid for, Parks, who was armed, held Connor and Lawrence against their will.
Durham said that Parks collected money and valuables from Connor and Lawrence, and then forced them to travel in Connor’s car to Hamden where Connor said he could get more money. They were followed in another vehicle by Devante Williams and another co-conspirator.
When the vehicles arrived at a location on Mix Avenue in Hamden, it is alleged that Parks shot and killed Connor and Lawrence. Parks then left the scene with Williams and others in the second vehicle and returned to New Haven.
It is further alleged that, when Parks appeared to believe that Williams was anxious about the murders of Connor and Lawrence, Parks shot and killed Williams in the area of Sherman Court in New Haven.
“This prosecution represents a tragic example of how lives can be ruined when firearms are illegally possessed and traded,” Durham said. “I thank our partners in the FBI, Hamden Police Department, New Haven Police Department and New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office for their collaborative work in bringing to justice an individual we allege to be responsible for three cold-blooded killings.”
Durham noted that Parks is currently in federal custody for an unrelated conviction for drug and firearm offenses in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“Today, after four years of an in-depth homicide investigation, the New Haven Police Department and our law enforcement partners are able to bring justice to the family of Devante Williams,” New Haven Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson said. “We would like to extend a special thank you to the Williams family for their patience and understanding while investigators worked diligently to make this day a reality."
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