NJ Man Sentenced in '78 Murders of Five Newark Boys

Lee Evans and his cousin, Philander Hampton, charged with murdering five teens

View Comments (


    Lee Evans (l) and Philander Hampton (r) were charged with murder in connection with the boys' disappearance.

    A man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 1978 murders of five New Jersey teenagers in what was one of the state's longest-running cold cases.     

    Fifty-four-year-old Philander Hampton, who has been in jail since his March 2010 arrest, could be paroled soon because of 1978 guidelines that allow release after serving 20 percent of a sentence.     

    Hampton says he and another man lured the teens to an abandoned house in Newark then locked them inside and set the house on fire, in a dispute allegedly over stolen drugs.     

    The Star-Ledger of Newark reports that Booker Murray, whose brother, Melvin Pittman, was a victim, told the court the punishment was too lenient.   

    Hampton has agreed to testify against a second suspect, Lee Evans, who is his cousin.