Palm Coast, FL – Update: Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and some of his deputies conducted a felony traffic stop on Tuesday afternoon and arrested a person of interest in a suspected homicide that happened earlier that morning in Palm Coast.
The traffic stop was conducted at Cypress Point and Belle Terre Pkwy. at around 12:30 PM. Clarence Edward Murphy Jr., 41, of Palm Coast was then arrested for first-degree murder. He’s currently being held at the Flagler County Detention Facility without bond. “Our deputies and detectives did a great job in solving this case in under 8 hours and making sure no one else was hurt,” Sheriff Staly said. “That is great police work and I’m glad this dirtbag is in the Green Roof Inn where he belongs and the victim’s family can feel secure knowing he is in custody.”
Sheriff Staly held a press conference with members of the victim’s family, who’s been identified as 36-year-old Ahmad Rashad Laster Sr., at 5 PM on Tuesday. It was broadcast live on FCSO’s facebook page, and can be viewed here.
In that press conference, Staly said that Murphy shot Laster in the head in a drug deal gone bad. He also said that Murphy admitted to killing Laster, who is his cousin, and even wrote the victim’s family an apology letter.
Officials say Murphy has an extensive arrest history, including 19 felony charges, five felony convictions, three misdemeanor convictions, and at least two stays in state prison.
(Left: Sheriff Staly & a deputy at the felony traffic stop. Right: Clarence Murphy Jr. in a booking photo from 2016.)
Flagler County deputies are investigating what they believe is a homicide that happened early Tuesday morning in Palm Coast.
A 911 call came in at around 4 AM on the morning of September 19 about a man lying in a driveway on Parkview Dr. in Palm Coast. That victim was rushed to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, where he later died.
Detectives don’t think this was just a random crime and officials say they are following up on every lead. Sheriff Rick Staly met with deputies and detectives at the scene on the morning of the crime while the Crime Scene Investigation Unit was still collecting evidence. “We are working every lead and attempting to locate the suspect or suspects,” said Staly. “We do not believe there is a threat to anyone else at this time but this is an active investigation. We will update when we have more information.”
Parkview Drive was closed to traffic and school bus routes were redirected on the 140 to 160 block due to the police activity.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 386-313-4911 or CrimeStoppers at 1-877-277-TIPS, where you’ll remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.00.
(Left: Detective Sgt. Miller, Commander Carman, Sheriff Staly, Chief Ramirez, & Chief Bovino at the crime scene. Right: Road closure at Parkview Dr. in Palm Coast)
Photos courtesy FCSO.
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