Lamar Harris Sentenced to 18 Years in Connection with 2021 Homicide

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MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo, and Morristown Police Chief Darnell Richardson announce that Lamar Harris, 34, last known address 1 Jean Street, Morristown, has been sentenced to 18 years in New Jersey State Prison.

At approximately 12:29 a.m. on March 29, 2021, law enforcement received information regarding a deceased male at the Morristown Train Station, Morris Street, Morristown.  Subsequent investigation confirmed that the male’s body was located on a stairway at the train station.  The male had sustained head injuries and a brick was located next to the body.  An autopsy was performed by the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the manner of death was certified as homicide.  The victim was previously identified as Matthew Palla.  Subsequent investigation, including video surveillance, revealed the victim and Lamar Harris were together in Morristown and in the vicinity of the Morristown Train Station prior to the homicide.  The investigation also revealed that Matthew Palla was in possession of approximately $800 prior to the homicide.

On June 15, 2022, Lamar Harris pled guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter and third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking before the Hon. Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr.

On August 11 Judge Taylor imposed a sentence of 18 years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the No Early Release Act, which makes the defendant ineligible for parole until he has served 85% of the sentence, on the Aggravated Manslaughter.

Judge Taylor also imposed a concurrent sentence of five years in New Jersey State Prison on the Theft.  The defendant was also ordered to pay $800 restitution.

Prosecutor Carroll would like to thank and acknowledge the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the apprehension and prosecution of the defendant, including the Morristown Police Department, the New Jersey Transit Police, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.