Killer No Match For 'Minute Man'

Killer No Match For 'Minute Man'

Prince George's The Journal - 9/12/1995 - Timothy W. Maier, Staff Writer

The "Minute Man" has done it again. Prosecutor James Papirmeister, whose peers began affectionately calling him the "Six-Minute Man" after a jury recently convicted a man of first-degree murder in six minutes, had similar success last week.

It took 12 minutes for a jury to find Lamont Emil Middleton, 22, of southeast Washington guilty in the Jan. 12 slaying of Jamie A. Cager, 24, of Landover.

"The jury went out at 5:20 p.m.," Papirmeister said. "They returned at 5:32 p.m. I'm so proud of that."

"In the last month, I have had a case where the jury found a man guilty of first-degree murder in two minutes and another where the jury returned after six minutes," Papirmeister said. "I don't think that's been done before."

The two-minute verdict actually took about 90 minutes. But jurors told The Journal they were convinced the suspect committed the murder after only two minutes of deliberating.

In Papirmeister's latest case, three witnesses linked Middleton to the murder. According to trial testimony, Middleton shot Cager around 10:48 a.m. at Jimmy's Crab House at 7241 Landover Road. Cager died of a single gunshot wound to his head while he was playing an arcade game. The restaurant was just about to open prior to the shooting.

Papirmeister said Middleton believed Cager was someone known around the neighborhood as James "Shack" Smith., Cager's cousin, when the shooting took place. Middleton and Smith had an earlier dispute about drugs, according to trial testimony. "This was really a case of mistaken identity," Papirmeister said.

Defense attorney Louis Martucci claimed police charged the wrong man with the crime. Middleton testified he was at a Glenarden barber shop at the time of the slaying, but the barber could not pin the exact time when Middleton was there.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 29. Middleton faces life plus 20 years.