Fugitive wanted for Norristown Thanksgiving Day dinner murder arrested by U.S. Marshals in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Eric Gartner and Norristown Acting Police Chief Todd Dillon announce the arrest of Kevon Clarke, 19, of Norristown, for the First-Degree Murder of 25-year-old Edilberto Miguel Palaez Moctezuma who was eating Thanksgiving dinner inside of an Arch Street residence.

Clarke was arrested without incident in Philadelphia at approximately 11 a.m. today by members of the U.S. Marshals Eastern Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force. Clarke fled after the Nov. 25, 2021 murder. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Philadelphia adopted the case and began an investigation into his whereabouts. Clarke was taken into custody after investigators determined he may be hiding with a known associate in the 5500 block of Whitby Avenue in Philadelphia.

The murder happened on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Norristown Police were dispatched at 9:28 p.m. to the 1100 block of Arch Street for a male shot. Police arrived to find Pelaez Moctezuma unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his torso. He was flown to Penn Presbyterian, where he was pronounced dead. The victim was sitting at the table eating Thanksgiving dinner when a single shot came through the window and struck him.

A joint homicide investigation was launched by Montgomery County Detectives and Norristown Police. The investigation found that the shooting was connected to a dispute that happened at a Thanksgiving dinner party at the 100 block of Haws Avenue earlier in the day, where four individuals including Clarke and his girlfriend Jacqueline Brown were asked to leave. Following their departure, alcohol was discovered missing, and Brown was texted about the theft by her cousin, who had also been at the party. Arrangements were made to return the alcohol outside of Clarke’s residence on Basin Street, turning it over to the cousin. The cousin double-parked her car outside the residence, saw Clarke exit the residence brandishing a gun and quickly drove off. She heard multiple shots fired as she fled. Clarke then called her on her cellphone, shouting “You trying to set me up, you could have got me (expletive) killed,” and then threatened to “bang up your crib,” which the cousin took to mean shoot into her residence.

Detectives located seven .40 caliber fired cartridge cases, six 9 mm fired cartridge cases and one live round in the area of Basin and Arch Streets. The investigation determined through the use of two different surveillance videos and analysis of the bullet hole in the window that the shot fired into the Arch Street residence killing Pelaez Moctezuma came from Clarke’s shooting location. Two other males are seen in the surveillance video running from the shooting scene. The investigation into this homicide is continuing.

An autopsy was performed on Nov. 26, 2021 by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Hannah Kastenbaum with the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. Dr. Kastenbaum found that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the torso and the manner of death was homicide.

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“We always appreciate the opportunity to support the Norristown Police Department and the Montgomery County Detectives Bureau, and hope the capture of this fugitive will bring some semblance of closure to the Palaez Moctezuma family members stemming from this utterly senseless tragedy,” said Gartner.

“The U.S. Marshals worked diligently in finding this violent murderer and safely get him off the streets without further bloodshed,” said DA Steele. “The Marshals’ work has been invaluable for the safety of our community.”

Clarke is charged with First-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder, Person Not to Possess a Firearm, Carrying a Firearm without a License, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Possessing an Instrument of Crime. Clarke is awaiting arraignment, at which time a preliminary hearing will be set. There is no bail available for First-Degree Murder charges.

The homicide investigation is continuing. Anyone with information regarding this incident or the other two shooters is asked to contact the Norristown Police Department at 610-270-0977 or call the Montgomery County Detectives’ Tip Line at 610-278-DOIT (3638). Anonymous text tips can be submitted using MontcoCrimeTips on the STOPit! app. The STOPit! app can be downloaded for free from the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Androids, then use code MONTCOPA to get the Montgomery County version of the app.