By Jesse Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
A convicted murderer being held in Island County jail is making the most of the legal system.
Joshua Lambert, 36, is acting as his own attorney and inundated the court with around 200 motions ahead of his re-sentencing hearing. He appeared in Island County Superior Court last Friday to be sentenced, but Judge Vickie Churchill rescheduled it to June 15 because of confusion about whether the hearing was stricken.
Both Churchill and Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said they’ve had trouble looking at Lambert’s motions in the online court system Odyssey. Banks contacted the company’s technicians about the problem.
“It was Mr. Lambert’s excessive filings that brought Odyssey to its knees,” he said.
The problem still wasn’t fixed ahead of another hearing Monday over Lambert’s motions.
The Appeals Court last year reversed Lambert’s convictions for the “felony murder” of his 80-year-old grandfather August Eisner and the first-degree burglary of his parents’ North Whidbey 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 will be re-sentenced on the charges that were affirmed. Banks has yet to decide whether to retry him for the Eisner murder.
Churchill originally sentenced Lambert to 100 years in prison.
Lambert acted as his own attorney during the trial and is still pro se for the sentencing hearing.
Lambert has argued that he has schizophrenia and, therefore, is not culpable for the murders; he said he was diagnosed with the disorder while in prison.
Churchill went through a series of Lambert’s motions in court last week. Banks opined about why each should be dismissed, but Lambert invoked his Miranda right to silence. At the end of the hearing, however, he said he wanted to subpoena mental health professionals, Department of Corrections officers and others to testify at his sentencing hearing.
A community corrections officer with the state Department of Corrections conducted a pre-sentence investigation for the sentencing hearing. Lambert originally received an exceptional sentence, but the corrections officer recommended against an exceptional sentence. She recommended a sentence of 51 years and eight months in prison.