Prosecutor wants to defend conviction of former Missouri detective who killed Black man
Aug 3, 2023, 4:14 PM
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A prosecutor is stepping in after Missouri’s attorney general asked an appeals court to reverse the conviction of a former Missouri police officer who is white and killed a Black man in 2019.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker this week asked the state Western District Court of Appeals to let her handle the appeal of former Kansas City police detective Eric DeValkenaere, who was convicted of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the November 2021 of killing 26-year-old Cameron Lamb. Lamb was shot as he backed his truck into his garage.
Typically, Missouri’s attorney general handles all appeals of criminal cases. But Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey in June asked the appeals court to reverse DeValkenaere’s conviction, arguing that DeValkenaere was justified because he believed Lamb was going to shoot his partner.
Peters Baker originally secured DeValkenaere’s conviction.
The attorney general “accepts an alternative view of the facts in this case,” Peters Baker wrote in a brief asking the appeals court to allow her to defend the conviction.
Police said DeValkenaere and his partner, Troy Schwalm, went to Lamb’s home after reports that Lamb was involved in a car chase with his girlfriend on residential streets.
Jackson County Circuit Court Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs, who convicted the former detective after a bench trial, sentenced DeValkenaere to prison — three years for involuntary manslaughter and six years for armed criminal action, with the sentences to run consecutively.
Youngs later ruled that DeValkenaere could remain free while his conviction is appealed.