Deputy Jon Lambert is helped into a state police cruiser following his court appearance Wednesday. Lambert is on administrative leave with pay pending a Merit Board Review.
By IVY HERRON
Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathon Thomas Lambert remained calm and polite as the State of Indiana filed four additional charges and petitioned for a Special Prosecutor to handle the two cases against him in Clay Circuit Court Wednesday.
Information provided in the charging information and the probable cause affidavit revealed details that had not been previously released about Lambert's behavior during the 14-hour standoff with law enforcement personnel from at least eight agencies from around the state.
According to the court documents, the following charges and reasons for the charges were filed on behalf of the State of Indiana against Lambert:
- One count of Intimidation, a C felony, because Lambert communicated threats against law enforcement officers while in possession of a handgun and rifle. On multiple occasions during the standoff, he is accused of exiting his residence with firearms making numerous threats, such as: "I am going to get my rifle and will get to shooting" and "I'll take care of business ... I'll be killing people ... we'll do this on my terms."
- One count of Criminal Recklessness, a class D felony, because Lambert created a substantial risk of bodily injury to law enforcement personnel and local citizens when he came outside of his home while it was surrounded by law enforcement attempting to serve an arrest warrant and fired shots in the vicinity of the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team.
- One count of Resisting Law Enforcement, a class D felony, because Lambert forcibly refused to surrender and drew and used a deadly weapon while law enforcement officers were trying to execute an arrest warrant. When officers attempted to subdue Lambert at the end of the standoff, he continued to "exhibit extreme belligerence by screaming, cursing, pushing, fighting and physically resisting said officers."
- One count of Resisting Law Enforcement, a class A misdemeanor, because Lambert physically resisted law enforcement officers efforts to place him in handcuffs while he was being taken into custody.
The documents also provided information about a search warrant for Lambert's home, 6764 W. U.S. 40, issued on Sept. 23. No one was located in the home during a search by officials after Lambert's arrest, but multiple weapons and ammunition were found.
Lambert, appearing with his lawyer Joseph Etling in Clay Circuit Court, plead not guilty to all charges. If convicted, Lambert could face 15 years of real-time imprisonment.
The trial is scheduled to run concurrent to the trial for the initial set of charges filed in court Monday, with the same court dates scheduled; pre-trial conference on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m.with the jury trial set for 1:30 p.m. on Jan., 22.
Judge Robert Pell set a consecutive cash bond - an additional bond that can only be paid after a previous bond has been paid in full - for $25,000 no 10 percent bail allowed for the new set of charges. Lambert remains in custody at the Parke County Jail.
Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander was appointed by Judge Pell to prosecute the two cases against Lambert. This is not the first time Alexander has performed the duties of special prosecutor in Clay County. She was the lead prosecutor in the Orville Lynn Majors case in the late 1990s.
"We are trying to maintain that there will be no conflict of interest in the cases against Jon Lambert by any local authority," Prosecutor Lee Reberger said.
The Clay County Prosecutor's Office will assist Alexander with both trials, but naming a special prosector means the cases are outside the jurisdiction of local authorities.
"Having two prosecutors handle one defendant on trial for two cases can harm the prosecution of those cases. The two prosecutors would be unable to discuss overlapping issues in both cases as they go through the court system," Reberger said. "This allows both cases to proceed efficiently through the system."