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.
Dave Lake was indicted on one count of Murder (First Degree). The indictment was returned October 22 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be held next month in Superior Court in Mount Holly.
The investigation began after Maple Shade police and the Maple Shade First Aid Squad 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. The investigation revealed that Lake had attacked Melvyn Waldo, 78, who was immobile and non-verbal, while the victim was in his bed in their room.
Waldo died 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.
The charge against Lake was upgraded 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.
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. Jenn Marchese.
An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.