Lambert returns to Island County Superior Court, pleads not guilty

Friday, Joshua Lambert appeared in Island County Superior Court for the first time since he was sentenced to 100 years in prison four years ago for murdering both of his grandfathers.

The state Court of Appeals remanded Lambert’s case back to superior court for a possible re-trial on one of the murder counts, as well as a burglary charge, and re-sentencing on other charges.

Lambert pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder in the first degree and burglary in the first degree.

The 36-year-old high school dropout insisted on acting as his own lawyer — as he did in the original trial — but Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill appointed Steve McKay as a standby attorney just in case things go south. The judge revoked Lambert’s right to represent himself near the end of the first trial because of his continued outbursts and inappropriate behavior; the standby attorney took over.

Lambert appeared calm and lucid in court Friday. But because of his history of violence, five officers stood guard in the courtroom.

The Appeals Court last year reversed his convictions for the “felony murder” of 80-year-old August Eisner and the first-degree burglary of his parents’ house in 2011. His convictions for the murder of his other grandfather, 80-year-old George Lambert, and the kidnapping of his great aunt and several other counts were affirmed by the court.

Lambert has to be re-sentenced on the charges that were affirmed.

His sentencing was set for March 23. His re-trial was tentatively scheduled for May 15.

The sentencing was somewhat delayed because Lambert asked for a pre-sentencing report from the state. He said the report would describe his mental illness, which may mitigate his sentence. He said a doctor diagnosed him with “schizophrenia continuance.”

“I was in a mental facility for more than six months,” he said.

During the 2013 trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Lambert was using methamphetamine when he committed the crime.

Court documents say that on Oct. 3, 2011, Lambert went to the Oak Harbor house of his paternal grandfather, George Lambert, to steal guns. He brutally murdered his grandfather with a pocket knife, tied up his great aunt and stole her car.

Continuing his search for guns, Lambert drove to his parents house a few miles away. He confronted his maternal grandfather, Eisner, and demanded keys to a garage that contained a gun safe. When the elderly man refused, Lambert brutally murdered him with the same knife.

Lambert claimed he was in the midst of a complex delusion when he committed the murders.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
                                Convicted killer Joshua Lambert appears in Island County Superior Court Friday. The Court of Appeals reversed one of his murder convictions.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times Convicted killer Joshua Lambert appears in Island County Superior Court Friday. The Court of Appeals reversed one of his murder convictions.

More in News

Expert says chief followed right protocol

David Marks’ arrest of suspect ‘exactly what we teach’

Photos by Whidbey Camano Land Trust
                                Taylor Schmuki, left, and Kyle Ostermick-Durkee, both part of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s stewardship team, study the plant life this spring in a newly protected forest on South Whidbey.
Conservation Buyer Saves a Whidbey Island Forest

By RON NEWBERRY Special to the Record Pat Powell has worked with… Continue reading

Sailor shoots man, himself

A Navy man shot another man and then himself in Oak Harbor… Continue reading

Trooper, ranger try to prevent man from jumping off bridge

A trooper with the Washington State Patrol and a ranger with State… Continue reading

Valetta Faye will perform at Ott & Murphy Wines in Langley.
Singing sensation comes to South Whidbey

Singing is her passion, music is her soul. That’s singer Valetta Faye’s… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack

Retail sales grew in Island County, Langley

New numbers released by the state Department of Revenue show that Island… Continue reading

Hometown Heroes gets second book

Hometown Hero Book 2 is in the works. All money will go… Continue reading

Bayview Nights Car Show set

Safe Ride Home is holding the 2018 Cool Bayview Nights Car Show… Continue reading

Most Read