Tuesday was arrested in a November 2016 homicide concerning a string of Lehigh Valley cellphone shop robberies. This is a first for Northampton County.
He said that John Morganelli, District Attorney, had never convened an investigation task force before. The announcement of homicide and related criminal charges against Gregory Lewis Jr. and Vaughn John Felix, both 27, were made by him.
Morganelli stated that the investigation resulted from “good old-fashioned police work” and “the present state of our technology that allows us to analyze data and information.”
Michael Davis, 25, was killed and shot outside his Palmer Township home at 2800 Block Eldridge Avenue on November 21, 2016. He had just returned from work at Verizon’s Town Center Boulevard in Forks Township.
Authorities claim that Felix used his 9mm pistol to kill 25-year-old Michael Davis. He was resisting an attempt by Davis to kidnap him. Felix and Lewis had followed Davis home from their jobs at Verizon, Town Center Boulevard in Forks Township.
Authorities said the pair robbed the store on October 29, 2016. They were trying to get Davis to assist them in a second robbery. This October robbery was Felix and Davis’ first in a series of robberies that reached cellphone shops in Bethlehem Township and South Whitehall Township, Wind Gap and Lopatcong Township, as well as a jewellery shop in Easton.
Authorities said the pair tried to kidnap Michael Derose, Forks Verizon store manager. However, he was able to escape.
According to Assistant District Patricia Mulqueen, who headed the task force, investigators found only one motive for the crime spree: “It’s greed. That’s what it was.”
Vaughn Felix (left) and Gregory Lewis Jr. were both charged in December 2017 regarding the murder of 25-year-old Michael Davis in Palmer Township.
Morganelli had announced February 28 the formation of the task force. After the arrests by two alleged recipients, Felix and Lewis, were made public, Felix and Lewis were taken into custody.
Tuesday afternoon Morganelli thanked the investigators for their hard work in investigating the following:
- Palmer Township Police Department.
- Easton Police Department.
- Forks Township Police Department.
- Slate Belt Regional Police Department.
- South Whitehall Township Police Department.
- Bethlehem Township Police Department.
- Bethlehem Police Department.
- Police Department of Allentown
- Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory, DeSales University
- Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center Allentown
Morganelli stated that a Pennsylvania State Police emergency response team assisted with serving warrants.
Morganelli stated that the task force brought together all law enforcement agencies involved in these investigations. Although they had previously communicated informally, the task force gave them a formal structure that allowed investigators to examine the information and assign specific tasks to advance the investigation.
Representatives from law enforcement agencies participating in the task force investigation into a string of cell phone robberies participate in a news conference on December 12, 2017, hosted by John Morganelli, Northampton County District Attorney. He announced the arrests of Vaughn Felix and Gregory Lewis in the November 21, 2016, homicide at the Palmer Township home of Michael Davis, a cellphone store employee. (Kurt Bresswein | For lehighvalleylive.com)
The prosecutor stated that the key to placing the suspects in the area of the crimes was the analysis of their cell phones via pings from communications towers.
Authorities said investigators believed they had Davis’ killers while building their case. This included ballistics testing Felix’s handgun.
Mulqueen stated that they had identified the suspects early and knew the community was safe. Mulqueen added that they were then able to continue with the task force to investigate other robberies as well as the homicide that took place in this case.
She continued, “Every law enforcement agency that assisted us in this regard did it with great passion” We knew we had innocent victims. They worked tirelessly for all the information on the cell phones of those involved. This allowed us to continue solving these cases.
Left to right, Patricia Mulqueen, Northampton County Assistant District attorney, and John Morganelli, District Attorney, participate in the news conference on December 12, 2022, at the Easton county courthouse.
Morganelli stated that they believe that having the criminal homicide case ended today, with both defendants facing life imprisonment and possibly death sentences for their crimes, puts them in a strong position to ensure that no one in the community will ever be able to harm anyone else.