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Press Release

North Carolina Man Guilty of Charges Related to the Killing of 3 Connecticut Men in 2015

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

United States Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, New Haven State’s Attorney John P. Doyle, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge Jean Pierre Njock of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hamden Police Acting Chief Timothy F. Wydra and New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson today announced that a federal jury in Bridgeport has found EDWARD MICHAEL PARKS, also known as “Lee” and “Trouble,” 36, of Raleigh, North Carolina, guilty of charges related to the kidnapping and murdering of two individuals in Hamden, and the killing of a third man in New Haven to stop him from notifying law enforcement.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley began on January 9.  On January 19, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts of an indictment charging Parks with two counts of kidnapping resulting in death, and one count of witness tampering by killing.  At sentencing, Parks faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of life.   

According to the evidence presented during the trial, on November 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.  When another individual left the apartment with firearms that he had not paid for, Parks, who was armed, held Connor and Lawrence against their will.  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 individual.  After the vehicles arrived at 676 Mix Avenue in Hamden, 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.

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.

Parks has been incarcerated in federal custody following an unrelated conviction for drug and firearm offenses in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“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 efforts in bringing a person responsible for three cold-blooded killings to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Avery.  “The Justice Department has prioritized the disruption of illegal gun trafficking across the United States, and this prosecution serves as yet another reminder of the scourge of illegal guns and violence in our communities.  The victims of this heinous crime, and their loved ones, are in my thoughts.”

“The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office would like to thank the members of the jury for their service and for their careful consideration of the evidence in this case,” said New Haven State’s Attorney Doyle. “This verdict shows that strong partnerships between law enforcement are invaluable in the pursuit of justice for victims and their grieving families. We look forward to this continued collaboration as we strive every day to make our communities in greater New Haven safer.”

“A life of crime has resulted in a life sentence,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jean Pierre Njock.  “It is our sincere hope that this verdict by the jury brings some closure and peace to the victims’ families in this case.  The FBI extends its gratitude to all state, local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors who worked this case relentlessly for several years.”

“I hope this verdict gives the families of these victims some sense of peace and closure, said Hamden Acting Police Chief Wydra.  “I would also like to thank and commend Hamden Sergeant Jomo Crawford, New Haven Assistant Chief Bertram Ettienne, the FBI Safe Street Violent Task Force, the Offices of the U.S. Attorney, New Haven State’s Attorney Office including now Chief State’s Attorney Pat Griffin and current New Haven State’s Attorney Jack Doyle, Raleigh, North Carolina Detective I.O. Smith, and so many other Law Enforcement partners who assisted. I would also like to thank the Hamden and New Haven communities who worked with law enforcement to provide valuable information pertaining to these three homicides.  This case demonstrated that by successful collaboration at the highest level and working together we were able to get a violent individual off the streets.”

“I would like to thank our federal partners for the work on this case, “said New Haven Police Chief Jacobson.  “It is crucial for the reduction of violent crime for us to work hand in hand with our federal partners and we are grateful for the collaborative efforts.”

This investigation has been conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hamden Police Department and New Haven Police Department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel J. Gentile and A. Reed Durham, and Assistant State’s Attorney Seth Garbarsky, who has been cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.

Updated January 20, 2023

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