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Bloomfield Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Irvington Gas Station Murder


By: Richard Smith 

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced the sentencing of Lamar Sommers, a 36-year-old Bloomfield resident, to 35 years in prison for the murder of Jahque Benbow, a 23-year-old from Irvington. The sentencing was passed down by Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin.AdThe case, which dates back to May 11, 2022, involved Sommers and two unidentified accomplices in a premeditated attack at the Irvington gas station where Benbow was employed.

According to the prosecution, Sommers was responsible for driving the assailants to the location and subsequently facilitating their escape.

The victim was shot five times in what appeared to be a coordinated assault.

After fleeing New Jersey, Sommers was apprehended in North Carolina on June 16, 2022.

The trial, concluding on October 10, 2023, resulted in a jury finding Sommers guilty of several charges, including first-degree conspiracy, first-degree murder, and unlawful possession of a weapon.AdAssistant Prosecutors F. Garnes and J. Ventola, who led the case, highlighted the heinous nature of the crime. Garnes remarked on the brutality of the act, noting how Benbow was "hunted, then executed in a public place," causing panic among bystanders. Ventola emphasized the tragedy's depth, pointing out that Benbow's child, born just hours after his death, would never know their father.

This sentence reflects the gravity of the crime and the impact it has had on the Irvington community, particularly the family of Jahque Benbow.

The case has been a poignant reminder of the consequences of violent crime and its far-reaching effects on families and communities.