Bloomfield man gets 35 years for Irvington murder

Photo Courtesy of Essex County
Prosecutor’s Office
Lamar Sommers

A Bloomfield resident has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for shooting an Irvington man, whose child was born just hours after his death.

Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin sentenced Lamar Sommers, 36, to 35 years in prison for the murder of Jahque Benbow, 23, of Irvington, according to a statement from acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II.

On May 11, 2022, Sommers, along with two unidentified men, conspired to shoot Benbow at the Irvington gas station where he worked.

Sommers drove the two men to Irvington, where he dropped them off a block from the station. The two shot the victim five times while Sommers waited in the car.

Sommers then drove the shooters away from the crime scene. He then fled New Jersey and was subsequently apprehended in North Carolina on June 16, 2022.

On Oct. 10, 2023, a jury found Sommers guilty of first-degree conspiracy, first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

“Mr. Benbow was hunted, then executed in a public place where innocent bystanders ran for their lives when shots rang out,” said Assistant Prosecutor F. Garnes, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor J. Ventola.

“The fact that Mr. Benbow’s baby, born hours after his death, will never know him, further compounds this tragedy,” Ventola said.