Alleged grandfather killer seeks to represent himself in Island County court
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
October 14, 2011 · Updated 3:52 PM
A 30-year-old Oak Harbor man accused of killing both his grandfathers wants to represent himself in court, according to Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks.
Banks said he received a letter from Joshua Lambert this week stating that he wants to act as his own attorney. Lambert was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping; he is considered a suspect in the second murder.
Lambert is scheduled to be arraigned in Island County Superior Court Monday, Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Banks said defendants have a constitutional right to self-representation, but in certain cases a judge can appoint a defense attorney to represent someone who doesn’t want one.
In 2008, for example, Island County Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill appointed an attorney to represent Anthony Carty, who had been acting pro se in an assault trial. She found that Carty, who had to be shackled during the trial, was so disruptive and unruly that he required an attorney to help with his defense; the Court of Appeals later agreed with her.
On Oct. 5, the prosecutor charged Lambert with murdering his grandfather, 80-year-old George Lambert, and kidnapping the elder Lambert’s sister, Kay Gage, at their home near Oak Harbor in the afternoon of Oct. 3.
Lambert was also named as a suspect in the murder of his other grandfather, 80-year-old August Eugene Eisner, on the same day.
Both men were stabbed to death. Banks said the motive for the killings appears to be that Lambert wanted firearms.
Lambert was arrested in Oak Harbor on the same day as the murders. He was covered in blood and was carrying a suspected illegal substance, according to Island County Sheriff Mark Brown.
Lambert has many family members on Whidbey Island and has often lived as a transient in Oak Harbor, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.