Victim dies two months after brutal assault by roommate
MAPLE SHADE – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Maple Shade Police Chief Christopher J. Fletcher announced that a township man has been charged with Murder (First Degree) after his roommate at the care facility where they resided died as the result of a severe beating he received in January.
David P. Lake, 51, remains in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, where he was lodged on January 19 after being arrested for a brutal assault on Melvyn Waldo, 78, with whom he shared a room at The Palace Rehabilitation and Care Center in the 300 block of West Mill Road.
The investigation began after Maple Shade police and the Maple Shade First Aid Squad were dispatched to the facility on the morning of January 17 for a report of an assault. The investigation revealed that Lake had attacked Waldo, who is immobile and non-verbal, while the victim was in his bed in their room.
Waldo died March 5 at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden.
Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood ruled the death a homicide. An autopsy determined the cause was due to complications of head and facial injuries.
Lake is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit.
The investigation was conducted by the Maple Shade Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators are MSPD Det. Brian Martino and BCPO Det. Jen Marchese.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.