Suspect surrenders in murder of Marine veteran

This image from a video shows the man police sought for questioning.
This image from a video shows the man police sought for questioning.
Posted: December 06, 2013

CAMDEN A man wanted in the killing of a Marine veteran in Camden on Sunday surrendered to police with his attorney Wednesday morning.

Darrell Crone, 31, of the 1200 block of Park Boulevard, walked into the Camden County Police Administration Building about 10:30 a.m. to face murder charges in the shooting death of Timothy Loper Jr., the county Prosecutor's Office and police said. Crone is to be arraigned Thursday.

Loper, 27, a Marine reservist, was shot around 2:45 a.m. as he tried to break up a fight outside the 20 Horse Tavern at Second and Spruce Streets. He was not a participant in the fight, authorities said.

On Wednesday, Loper's father, Timothy Sr., said he was grateful for the "help of the [Prosecutor's Office] and all the law enforcement that applied pressure, and the media."

Crone's attorney, Scott R. Cohen of Cherry Hill, said his client professed his innocence in their brief conversation.

"He looked me in the eye and he said, 'I swear, I didn't do this; I'm not a killer,' " Cohen said.

Authorities said Crone brandished a firearm before firing it during the altercation.

Cohen said that he met Crone and his stepfather at a McDonald's near police headquarters on Federal Street and the three walked to the station.

Cohen said he believed his client was a boxer.

"He's remorseful for the victim and hopes the right person is found," Cohen said.

On Monday, authorities released surveillance video showing a man, later identified as Crone, who was charged with murder Tuesday.

The altercation appeared to be between someone Crone knew and someone Loper knew, authorities said.

Loper, of Pine Hill, attended Highland High School and worked as a supervisor at a McDonald's and later at UPS before he went into the Marines, where he served four years, his father said Monday.

"My son was a hero," Loper's father said.

Loper had recently returned to South Jersey, where he was attending Rowan University part time at its Camden campus. He had also landed a job at Keystone Industries in Cherry Hill, a chemical company that manufactures fingernail polish and other items, his father said.

A funeral will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Antioch Baptist Church in Camden, which the victim's great-great-grandmother attends, Loper said.


dsimon@phillynews.com

856-779-3829 @darransimon

|
|
|
|
|