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Man sentenced in connection to 2022 crime spree in Morris County

MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – An Essex County man was sentenced in connection with an incident that occurred on April 1, 2022 in Morris County, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.

Judge Amirata sentenced Howard Parks, 55, formerly of East Orange on March 17 to an aggregate sentence of 21 years imprisonment subject to the No Early Release Act, which mandates that the defendant serve 85% of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. He was also sentenced to three years of parole supervision upon release. He entered pleas of guilty on Nov. 29, 2022 to three counts of second-degree robbery, Carroll said.

On April 1, 2022, officers from the Mount Olive Police Department responded to the Walmart parking lot, located in Flanders, to assist the South Orange Police Department with an ongoing carjacking investigation, Carroll said.

While on scene, at around 12:04 p.m., the investigation revealed that Parks stole a motor vehicle, during which he made a threat to kill the owner of the vehicle, Carroll said.

Parks took flight from the parking lot and at around 12:24 p.m., the Mount Olive Police Department learned of an attempted bank robbery that had just occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank, located in Flanders. The investigation revealed that he pretended to possess a firearm and passed a note demanding money. However, he fled the area prior to obtaining any money from the bank, Carroll said.

Then at around 12:33 p.m., after leaving the bank, Parks was involved in a motor vehicle crash near the intersection of Dover-Chester Road and Route 10 in Randolph. Following the crash, he attempted to steal another vehicle, but was taken into custody prior to being able to leave the scene, Carroll said.

“The excellent inter-agency teamwork that was required to bring this defendant to justice, including members of the Mount Olive Police Department, the Randolph Township Police Department, the Roxbury Township Police Department, the South Orange Police Department, the West Orange Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, and especially recognized Roxbury Police Patrolman Brad Keyes, who courageously stopped the second carjacking in progress prior to arrival of back up,” Carroll said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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