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Lambert pleads guilty to lesser charges during pre-trial hearing

Monday, August 18, 2014 | 7:19 p.m. CDT; updated 11:36 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 18, 2014

COLUMBIA Jimiah Lambert's lips tightened before he leaned into the microphone during his pre-trial hearing at the Boone County Courthouse Monday afternoon.

Lambert, 20, of Columbia, pleaded guilty to felony charges of voluntary manslaughter, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance Monday. Boone County Judge Jodie Asel followed the recommendations presented by Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Roger W. Johnson and sentenced Lambert to 10 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, four years for unlawful use of a weapon and four years for possession of a controlled substance, all to run concurrently.

Lambert had previously been charged with one count of second degree murder for the Jan. 2 fatal shooting of 23-year-old Dontay Tolston.

Lambert went to Tolston’s house with Martell Smith and Derrick Copelin at approximately 10:13 p.m. Jan. 2 to buy marijuana. According to the probable cause statement, Lambert, having purchased a bag of marijuana, pulled a gun on Tolston while exiting the house, to which Tolston responded by pulling out his own gun. After several shots, an injured Tolston was pronounced dead at a Columbia hospital.

Tolston's father, Lynner Meeks, read a personal statement at the end of the hearing, depicting the personal pain he and his wife have suffered since the loss of their son, as well as offering forgiveness to Lambert.

"We don’t hate you. In fact, we forgive you. May you have peace and change your life," he said.

Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.


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