He was bludgeoned to death with a brick from the M Station construction project, after eating 7-Eleven pizza with his killer.
That’s how “M.P.” met his end early Monday in a stairwell at the Morristown train station, authorities suspect.
Lamar A. Harris, 33, whose last known address is believed to be an affordable housing unit in Morris Township in June 2019, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and third-degree possession of an unlawful weapon.
The weapon: A blood-stained brick, found near the body. It appears to have come from a pile at the construction site, which sits between the convenience store and the train station on Morris Street.
The apparent motive: A stash of $100 bills. A 7-Eleven cashier saw the victim produce approximately eight of them on Sunday night, according to a probable cause affidavit.
This account is based on that document.
Store surveillance video shows M.P. eating pizza with a man that investigators identified as Harris with help from a “cooperating witness,” who interacted with the Harris and M.P. inside the store.
(The victim’s name is being withheld at his family’s request, stated Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.)
Video shows M.P. paying with cash.
When authorities arrived at the stairwell sometime after 12:29 a.m. on Monday, they found a cell phone in M.P.’s front pocket…but no cash, according to the affidavit by Detective Muhammad Thomas of the prosecutor’s office.
The victim showed injuries to the right side of his face and the back of his head. Morris County Medical Examiner Di Wang ruled the death a homicide, caused by “blunt force trauma” to the head.
M.P. and the cooperating witness both were known to law enforcement. And people on the street may have known of M.P.’s financial bounty.
He came into some money in early March, carrying 17 $100 bills, his sister told authorities. He still had at least seven of them in the week preceding his death, the cooperating witness told investigators.
Security videos from Morris Street businesses purportedly show M.P. walking toward the train station. At a distance, someone matching Harris’ description follows.
That person can be seen running away in a video from an establishment on Lackawanna Place, on the other side of the station, according to Muhammad’s statement.
In 2014, Harris was arrested during a Morris County investigation of the Bloods gang and charged with third-degree possession and distribution of drugs.
Court records indicate a short stint in the Morris County Jail, and a pair of probation violations. The Dover native also was prosecuted on a marijuana charge in 2006.