Violent Mercer County inmate gets 25 years for killing cellmate

(Left) Darryl Boone, (Right) Lamar Gaines

(Left) Darryl Boone, (Right) Lamar Gaines

A Trenton man who admitted to killing his cellmate at the Mercer County Correction Center has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

Lamar Gaines, 22, must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence behind bars for strangling and beating 38-year-old Darryl Boone to death in 2013.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Darlene Pereksta sentenced Gaines last Friday to a quarter-century in prison for the homicide, 10 years in prison for a carjacking and five years of incarceration for an aggravated assault. He will serve out his sentences concurrently.

Gaines killed Boone at the county jail in Hopewell Township on Oct. 5, 2013. 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. Gaines was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter earlier this year.

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. Gaines pleaded guilty to that aggravated assault about two months ago.

Gaines was previously arrested on Feb. 1, 2012, for a carjacking incident that occurred on that date in Trenton. He pleaded guilty to first-degree carjacking on May 9.

Gaines as of Wednesday morning had not yet been transferred to the state prison system. His days at the county jail are coming to an end, for the state Department of Corrections is expected to soon book him at a state prison.

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