lamberttt2.jpg
Whidbey News-Times
Joshua Lambert
Of the two murder cases in eight years that are now headed to trial on Whidbey Island, the slaying of two

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Joshua Lambert, Whidbey's Other Accused Murderer, Defending Self, Claims Insanity

lamberttt2.jpg
Whidbey News-Times
Joshua Lambert
Of the two murder cases in eight years that are now headed to trial on Whidbey Island, the slaying of two grandfathers has taken the most bizarre turn. Joshua Lambert, the grandson who is accused of stabbing both men to death hours apart on October 3, has chosen to represent himself in court where his first legal move was to declare himself insane.

The usually quiet island's other pending murder case, the alleged contract killing of Russel Douglas in 2003 by ex-Whidbey beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas and her boyfriend Maestro Jim, has its odd twists, shadowy figures, and an evidence trail that leads across the U.S. and into Mexico.

But it's rare to see a case as solid as the one Island County prosecutors say they have against Lambert, where the accused, in opting to act as his own attorney, virtually declares he has a fool for a client.

Lambert, a 30-year-old Oak Harbor transient, is charged with the brutal stabbing deaths of his two grandfathers, George Lambert and August Eisner, both 80, at their separate North Whidbey homes.

Allegedly, he was in search of the grandfathers' guns. When they failed to comply, he stabbed each man about 30 times.

After pleading not guilty to first-degree murder, Lambert requested he be allowed to represent himself pro se. He said he wanted to "think this through" on his own. The court strongly advised against the move, but reluctantly had to allow it.

Lambert then sent the court a letter outlining his defense strategy: He would try to prove he was insane, at least during the alleged murder spree. Reports the South Whidbey Record:

In his letter addressed to the "judge or court," Lambert asked that he be allowed to file a notice of an insanity defense, noting that it is past the 10-day deadline for filing the notice. He wrote that he was unaware of the deadline because he hadn't received the pertinent "law books" until Nov. 2.

[Prosecutor Greg] Banks said he also received a copy of Lambert's letter. He said he likely wouldn't object if Lambert wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity...

Banks said a defendant would normally undergo a psychological evaluation in a case with an insanity defense. He indicated that the burden of proving insanity can be tough.

"He has to prove insanity, we don't have to disprove it," he said.

First, however, according to the court, he has to file a motion, rather than merely send a letter to "judge or court," as the rules dictate. But he has legal material including law books at his disposal. As the accused/attorney told the court earlier, according to the Whidbey News-Times:

Lambert admitted he didn't completely understand the rules of evidence or criminal procedure, but he said he will look it up.
 
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