An Atlantic City man recently charged in a decades old killing is in jail. But not for murder.
Lamarc Rex, 37, was arrested early Dec. 14, after an Atlantic City police officer pulled him over on what he believed was still an active murder warrant in the May 27, 1996,killing of Antojuan Huffin.
A loaded handgun was later found at the feet of the passenger in the vehicle Rex was driving, according to the affidavit.
Rex was jailed on weapons charges.
But Rex had already been released on the murder charge five days earlier, rendering the search illegal, defense attorney Lou Barbone told the judge.
Rex was just 14 at the time of Huffin’s killing, putting his case in the juvenile system.
He was arrested in the killing in early December, the released Dec. 9, after a hearing before Family Court Judge Susan Maven.
That it only took five days for Rex to be arrested in a vehicle with a gun showed his danger to society, Assistant Prosecutor Brett Yore argued at a detention hearing on the weapons charges Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Rodney Cunningham agreed, ordering Rex held.
Barbone said he would appeal.
He also indicated during the hearing that the murder case against his client includes no new evidence in the case.
“Twenty-three years later, they decide to reinvent a cold case,” Barbone said. “It was somebody’s decision, ‘Let’s just try.’ That’s why he was before Judge Maven.'”
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced Rex was wanted Oct. 22, during a news conference heralding charges against three people in two formerly cold cases.
Rex’s name was only released because he was still wanted, Tyner explained at the time. Only the initials of his alleged accomplice — who was 17 in 1996– were released.
Barbone said there was no evidence that investigators came to Rex’s registered address in Atlantic City or the Mays Landing home he shares wit his girlfriend and four children.
Rex was continuing to work, running a transportation service that takes people to rehab financed by insurance companies, Barbone said.
But Yore questioned how Rex could have such strong community ties, yet not realize he was wanted for murder for nearly two months after the prosecutor’s announcement was covered by media statewide.
Rex will remain in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending an outcome in the weapons case.
The murder case will continue through the juvenile system.
Two Atlantic City families are getting some answers now that charges have been filed in two old Atlantic County homicide cases. One man, who was just 14 when he allegedly committed murder, remains wanted. Two others are in jail. “When homicide investigations lay dormant and go unsolved for a period of time, survivors do not get closure, people lose faith in the criminal justice system and, even worse, killers mock the system and are free to potentially kill again,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.