Maxwell Sherman, an 18-year-old former Rockville Centre resident who currently lives in Long Beach, was arraigned in Nassau County Court on Sunday, charged with the murder of Lauren Daverin-Gresham.
Daverin-Gresham, 18, of Lynbrook, was found strangled, nude and lying in a pool of blood, on the Merrick Road footbridge in western Rockville Centre on Aug. 22. David Paiz, a 14-year-old Rockville Centre resident, found her body and called the police at about 10 p.m. Paiz said he was with Daverin-Gresham earlier in the day, hanging out with her and others at the footbridge, before he left and later returned.
“We were walking over on the bridge and we saw a body over there, so we walked toward it,” he said. “And then we called the police right away.” According to Paiz, Daverin-Gresham was wearing only boots and was in a “very awkward position.”
“She looked like she was kind of in a ball, and then there was blood next to the body,” he said.
Late Saturday night, police announced that they had arrested Sherman and charged him with second-degree murder. He was arraigned by Judge David Sullivan in First District Court in Hempstead the following morning, and was denied bail. Sherman pleaded not guilty.
The footbridge is state property, and the state is responsible for maintaining it. According to village spokeswoman Julie Grilli, as a result of Daverin-Gresham’s murder, the village is talking with state authorities about having the bridge cleaned up and having lighting installed. Village workers have already begun removing bushes and shrubs along the path.
Sherman, who lives on Louisiana Street in Long Beach, grew up in Rockville Centre. His family moved often between Chicago and Long Island, relocating to the Midwest in 2002 and then returning to Rockville Centre in 2004, when Maxwell’s older brother, Chris, began his freshman year at South Side High School.
The family eventually moved back to Illinois, where Maxwell attended Barrington High School. In 2007, his parents, Wayne and Susan Sherman, bought a summer home in Long Beach, where Maxwell was living when he was arrested.
“I remember him as a bit of a wild child, but I would never have guessed anything malevolent would come of it,” said an acquaintance of the family who declined to give his name. “His older brother is an extraordinarily nice guy, and I remember his parents as being great.
“I am definitely surprised by the allegations,” he added.
John Maher contributed to this story.