Woman Freed From Prison May Go Back
A woman who was freed from prison nine months ago when a federal judge threw out her conviction for murdering a romantic rival--only to have the conviction reinstated last month--can be sent back behind bars, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The justices, without comment, denied a motion by Lisa Michelle Lambert’s attorneys that authorities be prevented from sending her back to prison while she appeals the reinstatement of her conviction.
Lambert, 25, already has served nearly five years of a life term for the 1991 murder of 16-year-old Laurie Show in Lancaster County, the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country.
In April, U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell, citing gross prosecutorial misconduct, overturned the conviction, declaring Lambert innocent and barring the state from retrying her.
Dalzell accused police and prosecutors of perjury, witness-tampering and suppression of evidence that could have cleared Lambert. The ruling led to a federal probe.
The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, however, reinstated the conviction and life sentence in December, saying Lambert’s lawyers should have exhausted state appeals before turning to the federal courts.
County officials have said they will move to imprison Lambert.
Dist. Atty. Joseph Madenspacher did not return a phone call Friday.
Attorneys for Lambert also did not immediately return phone messages.
The Supreme Court did not act on Lambert’s motion to throw out the reinstatement of her conviction.
Prosecutors contend that Lambert was angry that Show was dating her boyfriend, Lawrence “Butch” Yunkin, and she and an accomplice, Tabitha Buck, murdered Show and fled with Yunkin.