Jamar Magett

Jamar Magett

Jamar K. Magett

Homicide

Jamar K. Magett
19 YOA
1400 block of Fifth Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 10, 1999

Jamar Magett, 19, of Chicago, Ill., was shot in the forehead and chest while standing in the 1400 block of Fifth Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 10, 1999.

Paul Gilbert, 18, of Cedar Rapids — the younger brother of cold case victim Tyrone Gilbert — was arrested and charged in Magett’s murder. Des Moines defense attorneys Matthew Boles and Robert Montgomery said no physical evidence linked Gilbert to the crime.

Cedar Rapids pathologist Dr. Peter Stephens testified Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1999, that Magett suffered two bullet wounds, each of which could have been fatal.

According to a Gazette article published Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999:

Stephens said one bullet entered Magett’s forehead and exited through the back of his head. He said the bullet “caused a tremendous amount of ripping and tearing” of brain tissue. 

The second bullet entered above Magett’s collarbone and traveled down. That bullet damaged Magett’s right lung and tore major blood vessels of the heart and lung, said Stephens …

… Montgomery has suggested Davis and other members of a gang called the Shotgun Click had a dispute with Magett on the night of the murder and that police rushed to judgment in charging Gilbert.

Davis, who said he was sitting in the car next to Gilbert, testified that Magett ran, fell down, got up and then fell down again after being shot …

… Also Wednesday, eyewitness Robert Carter said Magett was shot after he opened the back door of a car. That account is similar to the one Davis gave in court.

But Carter said he could not identify the shooter in the car.

Carter, 23, said he was with Magett the night of the murder. Davis had testified that Magett was the Cedar Rapids leader of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

~ Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999

Carter also testified that Shotgun Click member Nathan Hunt had a dispute with Magett the night of the murder, and that he (Carter) tried to settle both men down before they eventually went to 1401 Fifth Ave. SE to drink.

1999-9-24-CRG-by-LW-Ward-Robert-Montgomery-Holly-MeskimenGazette photo by L.W. Ward
Robert Montgomery of Des Moines points out passages in previous testimony to witness Holly Meskimen on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 23, 1999) during the first-degree murder trial of Paul Gilbert. Meskimen drove the car Gilbert was riding in the night Jamar Magett was killed.

According to Carter, that’s when a green compact car driven by Holly Meskimen pulled up in front of the house. Magett walked up to the car, Carter said, opened the door and asked who had shot at him earlier in the evening, and that’s when the gunfire started.

A Linn County jury acquitted Gilbert of the murder charges on Friday, September 24, 1999.

Linn County
Linn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn County Cedar Rapids in Linn County

A December 10, 2004 post in an AETV Cold Case Files community forum alleges Tyrone Gilbert was murdered by the Gangster Disciples gang, who allegedly were friends of Magett.

Willie Junior Brocks, 49, was killed the same year as Jamar Magett and in the same block where Tyrone Gilbert was slain. Brocks’ case also remains unsolved.

Information Needed

The Cedar Rapids Police Department currently has two Cold Case Unit volunteer investigators who work exclusively on unsolved homicides. These investigators work closely with other investigators from both the Cedar Rapids Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

The current investigator assigned to the Cold Case Unit is J.D. Smith, a retired Agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

If you have any information about Jamar Magett’s unsolved murder please call the Cold Case Unit at (319) 286-5919 or email Investigator J.D. Smith.

Linn County Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips, and rewards for information may be available. Crime Stoppers may be reached at 1-800-CS-CRIME (319) 272-7463.

Sources:
  • Cedar Rapids Police Department
  • Cedar Rapids Police Department Cold Case Unit
  • “Man pleads not guilty in gun case: Gilbert was acquitted of murder in 1999,” by Dorothy de Souza Guedes, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, August 26, 2006
  • JonBenet arrest fills East Iowans with new hope,” by Christoph Trappe, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 19, 2006
  • “Unsolved crimes not forgotten: Man’s murder Sunday is first since 2002 in Wellington Heights,” by Christoph Trappe, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  • “Unsolved murders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” AETV Community forum, December 10, 2004
  • Cold Cases: Technology, tips help clear old homicides, but time takes toll on investigations,” by Christoph Trappe, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, September 21, 2003
  • “C.R. man accused of fighting with police,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wednesday, May 22, 2002
  • Old case, new hope: DNA test cinches charges in 1981 Coralville murder,” by Erin Jordan, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 31, 2002
  • Murder: DNA technology did not exist 20 years ago,” by Erin Jordan, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, January 31, 2002
  • “Officers still pursuing leads in murder case: C.R. police say neighbors now trust in their commitment,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, August 21, 2001
  • “Funeral to be held today for C.R. murder victim,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wednesday, June 27, 2001
  • “Murder probe continues,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, June 23, 2001
  • Murder has Chicago links: Victim’s brother acquitted in 1999 gang-related killing,” by Steve Gravelle and Elizabeth Kutter, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, June 22, 2001
  • “Bloody footprints led to arrest, police say: C.R. suspect first denied being there, document alleges,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, September 7, 2000
  • “Postponed trials not a trend: Attorneys — Recent delays in E. Iowa murder cases exemplify uniqueness,” by Lynn M. Tffft, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, May 21, 2000
  • “Reputed gang leader sentences,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, May 13, 2000
  • “Gang leader pleads guilty to charges,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 5, 2000
  • “Gangs get down to business: C.R. police expert says groups forgoing violence for profits,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, December 30, 1999
  • Investigations continue into unsolved C.R. murders,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 16, 1999
  • ‘Tragedy’ illustrates area’s struggles,” by Frank Gluck, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 28, 1999
  • “Parrish expands area presence,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, November 21, 1999
  • “Gilbert found not guilty: Mother says prayer answered by acquittal in C.R. murder,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, September 25, 1999
  • “2 wounds termed lethal: Physician: Victim could have died from head or torso shot,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, September 23, 1999
  • “Witness fingers Gilbert,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wednesday, September 22, 1999
  • “CORRECTION,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, September 21, 1999
  • “Gilbert murder trial begins today,” by Dave Gosch, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Monday, September 20, 1999
  • “Murder trial rescheduled,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, July 31, 1999
  • “Gilbert to be tried as adult,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, July 15, 1999
  • “NEWS BRIEFS: Hearing set July 13 on juvenile petition,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, June 18, 1999
  • “C.R. teen pleads not guilty to murder in shooting death,” by Dick Hogan, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Saturday, May 29, 1999
  • “Man sought not a suspect,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, May 18, 1999
  • “Suspect’s home searched,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, May 14, 1999
  • “House search tied to murder,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Thursday, May 13, 1999
  • “Suspect’s bail set at $1 million: C.R. youth arraigned on murder charge following shooting,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wednesday, May 12, 1999
  • “C.R. teen held in killing: Chicago man, 19, found shot to death,” by Steve Gravelle, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, May 11, 1999
  • “LINN DISTRICT COURT: Felony cases,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, January 3, 1999
  • “THE LOG: Linn County DRUG CHARGE: Dante R. McAlister, 19, of Beloit, Wis., and Jamar K. Magett, 18, of 1407 Third Ave. SE, Apt. 6,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, June 23, 1998
  • “THE LOG: Linn County ASSAULT CHARGES: Jamar Magett, 18, 1545 B Ave. NE, and Lakeshia Rhoden, 18, 1259 Third Ave. SE, charged with assault causing bodily injury after an alleged incident Saturday at Rhoden’s apartment; Magett is accused of striking Rhoden on the arm and neck, and Rhoden is accused of scratching Magett’s face and arms,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Tuesday, March 3, 1998
  • “THE LOG: Linn County ASSAULT CHARGES: Jamar Magett, 27, of 1510 Ave. NE charged with assault causing bodily injury; accused of grabbing Lakeisha Rhoden, same address, and striking her in the face Oct. 17 at their residence,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, October 24, 1997

3 Responses to Jamar Magett

  1. I hope and pray someone comes forward. This is so very sad and heart breaking. My prayers are with the family.

  2. Diana Wilson says:

    No closer. The killer was either let go or is still out there. Hope all cold cases get solved.

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