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James "Jamie" Lucas Smith IV

A robbery turns deadly for 2 men

  • Last updated: April 26, 2024
  • Havelock, NC
  • November 19, 1997

Overview of James "Jamie" Lucas Smith IV

How could a 1997 brutal robbery still be unsolved?

The families of James Lucas Smith IV, 19, and John Phillip Mattmiller, 37, wonder this every day.

James was always a family man, and loved his friends and family. At just 19-years-old, James was starting to get his life on track. He had decided to drop out of East Carolina University because he wasn't happy with his coarse load or his grades. His plan was to go to community college, and work in the area.

That's when James tapped on John Mattmiller for help. The two were good friends from their days at a comic store. They were also both involved in Civil War reenacting, and it was John who helped James get the job at the pawn shop.

James was working at the store for five months, while John was there for seven.

November 19, 1997.

Havelock police officers were making routine business checks around 1:30am on November 19, 1997, when they noticed that the back door to the local Woodson Music & Pawn shop was open. They went inside to investigate, and to their horror, they discovered the two victims — John and James.

They were bound and beaten to death.

Police quickly realized that there were at least two perpetrators who took several handguns and $30,000 in jewelry. This particularly interested investigators, considering there were multiple types of weapons at the Pawn shop, but only the handguns were taken.

A year after the murders, police released a drawing of a subject wanted in questioning for the murder of the two Havelock men (see the image of the Suspect below).

Over the many years that this investigation has continued, the Havelock police, State Bureau of Investigation agents, laboratory specialists, as well as the FBI behavioral sciences unit have been on the case.

In 2000, evidence was recovered.

Some of the guns stolen from the pawn shop were recovered, which provided additional clues to the case. To that end, these cases are still unsolved.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Carteret County Crime Stoppers, or email James's family: justiceforjamesandjohn@gmail.com.


  1. Date Found:November 19, 1997
  2. Date of Death:November 19, 1997
  3. Age at Incident:19


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