Instead of entering a formal plea in Clay Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, former Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Jonathon Thomas Lambert will have to return to court after a few "kinks" are worked out of the agreement.
Special Prosecutor Nina Alexander and Defense Attorney Joseph K. Etling entered a joint motion to push back the plea hearing, which Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout granted.
Some of the issues in the agreement needed clarification according to Alexander, who said she also requested the change because a witness was not available to appear at the 3 p.m. hearing. Trout requested the clarifications be completed and filed with the court on or before Nov. 26, to allow the court time to review the document before the hearing.
Etling also requested the court grant a motion requesting a court ordered pre-sentencing investigation report by the Clay Community Corrections department. Judge Trout granted the motion with the requirement that it be completed and filed with the court on or before Nov. 21.
Officials at Clay Community Corrections explained that a pre-sentencing investigation report consists of interviews with the defendant to help evaluate their individual needs.
Lambert was facing various charges because of two separately filed incidents that occurred in September 2006. Lambert's alleged refusal to comply with an arrest warrant by the Indiana State Police on Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, and the subsequent 14-hour standoff that occurred after he barricaded himself in his home at 6764 W. US 40. Lambert surrendered to authorities without further incident in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006.
After working out some scheduling difficulties with Alexander, Judge Trout scheduled Lambert to appear in Clay Circuit Court at 3 p.m., Nov. 27, to enter his change of plea agreement. Sentencing should also occur at the same time according to Judge Trout.
Due to the pending hearing date, Lambert and his defense council refused to comment after the proceedings.