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New Jersey Man Indicted for Beating His Roommate to Death

Maple Shade

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 51-year-old man has been indicted for fatally beating his roommate earlier this year at the care facility where they resided in Maple Shade.

Officials said Mr. Dave Lake was indicted on one count of Murder (First Degree).

Authorities say the indictment was returned on October 22 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be held next month in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

County officials say the investigation began after Maple Shade Police and EMS were dispatched to the Palace Rehabilitation and Care Center in the 300 block of West Mill Road on the morning of January 17 for a report of an assault.

Officials said the investigation revealed that Lake had attacked Mr. Melvyn Waldo, 78, who was immobile and non-verbal, while the victim was in his bed in their room. 

Authorities say that Waldo died on March 5 at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood ruled the death a homicide and determined the cause was due to complications from the head and facial injuries Waldo received during the beating, officials say.

According to authorities, the charge against Lake was upgraded on March 18 from Attempted Murder (First Degree) to Murder (First Degree). He is presently being held at the Ann Klein Forensic Center in West Trenton.

The investigation was conducted by the Maple Shade Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office.

An indictment is an accusation.

Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.