Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder and a Movie: The Jeffrey Lamb Case

The Verdict

Crime lab analysts took the stand to talk about the weapon and the blood spatter evidence, but the surprise witness was Dr. Barbara Wolf, the Park County associate medical examiner who had conducted the autopsy, was now the Lee County coroner, and who testified for the defense. Inexplicably, Williams had not called her to discuss the autopsy, electing to present evidence about the weapon and wound patterns without her. It was soon clear why. Despite her earlier finding that the tire iron matched the pattern, as reported in the press, she now stated that it could not have been the murder weapon. Apparently she had decided this from the fact that there was no DNA or blood present on it.

Williams insisted that Wolf was offering false testimony for money, although he failed to prove that she had ever definitively stated that the tire iron was the weapon they were looking for. Her credibility would be a matter for the jury to decide. Lubin helped this matter along by stating that other types of weapons could cause this pattern of injury, although he did not describe them — at least, not that reporters noted.

In closing, Lubin challenged every piece of evidence and interpretation, stating that nothing from Lamb's past life affirmed that money motivated him, so there was no good reason to attribute that motive to him now. The murder of Cathy Lamb had been a senseless act, Lubin said, but they were trying to wrong man for it. Lamb had been trying to make things work with Cathy and had even bought her a car that day for their anniversary. What reason would he have to kill her?

However, Williams reminded jurors that while Cathy's dogs were both beaten during the murder, Lamb's dog had been uninjured "Who else would take the time and care to separate those dogs?" he asked. He also reiterated his case and said that there had been no other suspects.

Finally, both sides closed. It seemed that the blood evidence bore the most weight for the jury, because during deliberations members asked to examine Lamb's sock. An hour later, they had a unanimous verdict.

On September 12, 2006, Jeffrey Lamb was found guilty. As he listened, reportedly his expression was unreadable. Afterward, Lubin stated he'd never been more profoundly disappointed in a verdict in his life. He thought the case was riddled with reasonable doubt and could not understand how the jury had not seen that.

During testimony for the sentencing phase, which included a plea from Lamb's mother, there was speculation that Lamb would take the stand to ask for mercy. Lubin had said it was a possibility, but in the end Lamb did not. The jury had to decide if the murder had been cold and calculated, or if there were mitigating factors involved, and in Florida this did not have to be a unanimous vote. To give the death sentence, at least seven jurors had to vote for it, according to the Palm Beach Post, but whatever the jury recommended, the judge would not be bound by it.

To wrap it up, Williams emphasized that the murder had been planned for the cash payout and was therefore heinous and unjustifiable. Lubin responded that there was humanity in Lamb, as witnessed by the testimony of his relatives, and there was no reason to exact the worst punishment. Although there appeared to have been no abuse or serious trauma in Lamb's life to explain such violence, his brother described how difficult their father's death when Lamb was 12 had been for him. Still, there was evidence of other kinds of criminal behavior — the assault incidents and the embezzlement.

The jury voted unanimously to give him life in prison rather than the death penalty, and on November 1, the judge accepted this recommendation. Lamb continued to proclaim his innocence.

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