Accused jailhouse killer indicted on murder charges

HOPEWELL - A Trenton man who allegedly admitted to killing his cellmate at the Mercer County Correction Center last year has been indicted in connection with the case.

Lamar Gaines, 19, was indicted Wednesday on one count of first-degree murder in connection with the strangulation and beating death of 38-year-old Darryl Boone.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, Boone was found dead at the Mercer County Correction Center after corrections officers saw water flowing from under the door of a cell in the receiving and detention area. Prosecutors allege that Boone’s cellmate, 19-year-old Lamar Gaines, is responsible for the murder, and that Gaines admitted to the killing by telling correction officers, “I killed him.”

Court documents state that Gaines told correction officers he used a torn bed sheet to strangle Boone while he slept. The documents also say that while Boone was unconscious, but still breathing, Gaines filled a plastic cup with toilet water and poured it over Boone’s face multiple times in an attempt to drown him. Gaines then used the torn bed sheet to strangle Boone a second time, documents state, and he then slammed Boone’s head into the concrete floor several times.

Then, as Boone laid on the floor, the documents state, Gaines stomped on Boone’s head until he thought he was dead.

At the time of Boone’s murder, Gaines was being held in connection with a February 2012 robbery and carjacking. And Boone was in jail awaiting trial on charges of vehicular homicide in connection with the June 2013 death of 22-year-old Jamere Cullers, who was a passenger in a car driven by Boone that hit a utility pole in the 100 block of Pennington Avenue in Trenton.

According to court documents, three days before Boone’s death, Gaines assaulted another inmate named James Colman by choking him unconscious and attempting to drown him in a slop sink. And Gaines was charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy in connection with that incident.

Gaines is now being held at New Jersey State Prison on $2 million cumulative bail for allegedly killing Boone and allegedly assaulting Colman.

If convicted of the murder charge, Gaines could face a prison sentence of 30 years to life.

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