KCPD Detective Eric DeValkenaere asks higher court to overturn his conviction
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Eric DeValkenaere’s legal team is asking a higher court to reverse his conviction.
He was convicted of armed criminal action and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Cameron Lamb. The shooting took place back in December of 2019.
Police say Lamb was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and ran a red light.
He was spotted by a KCPD helicopter and officers pursed Lamb to a residential property.
But the judge ruled this was not a “hot pursuit” and officers did not have a warrant, probable cause or permission to be on private property.
Judge Youngs said the state proved that DeValkenaere and Sergeant Troy Schwalm were the initial aggressors in the encounter and had a duty to retreat under the circumstances.
Devalkenaere was eventually sentenced to six years in prison and remains free on bond through the appeals process.
His legal team is now asking the court of appeals to review the legal basis for that conviction, pointing to previous United States Supreme Court rulings.
“There was no Fourth Amendment precedent prohibiting police from entering upon curtilage to arrest or investigate a fleeing misdemeanant.”
The filing also argues the judge erred in the manslaughter conviction because “trespassing is irrelevant in the case of a justified shooting.”
The filing emphasizes DeValkenaere’s testimony that he believed his partner was in danger and that Missouri law permits police to use deadly force to protect a fellow officer.
Attorneys argue DeValkenaere’s conviction should be overturned or, at the very least, a new trial should be granted.
Cameron Lamb’s family has filed a civil suit against the department.
His mother Laurie Bey previously spoke to KCTV5 about the death of her son.
“I miss him. I miss him every day and it feels like it was just yesterday when this happened, and I hate that my son is my memory,” said Bey.
This case has received national attention and support from the “Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund,” which supports police officers who face criminal charges.
They argue this case is the result of politics and it’s now advantageous to go after officers.
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