Guilty plea leads to life sentence

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:07 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Montgomery City man was sentenced to life in prison Monday in 13th Judicial Circuit Court after having admitted in February he had sexual encounters with three underage Boone County girls.

Before Judge Gene Hamilton handed down a life sentence for two of the four counts to which Robert Lamberson pleaded guilty in February, Lamberson’s defense attorney, Kevin Hamlett, read from a letter he said was written by his client, who sat beside him. “I simply do not have the words to express how sorry I am,” the letter said.

Hamilton sentenced Lamberson to 15 years for one of the remaining counts and seven years for the other. Those two sentences, in addition to the two life sentences, are to be served concurrently.

Richard Hicks, assistant prosecuting attorney in the case, said the sentence means Lamberson will have to spend at least 25½ years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. At that time, the Department of Corrections will have to determine whether to release Lamberson on parole, which would last for the rest of his life. Hicks said because Lamberson is a sex offender, he would have to be monitored by a global positioning system tracking device while on parole.

Detective Rene Atkins, of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, testified on behalf of the prosecution.

She answered questions about her findings as primary detective in the case, and identified Lamberson and two of the victims from photographs confiscated during the execution of a search warrant last year at Lamberson’s apartment.

Hamilton examined victim impact statements from the father of one victim and the mother of another before saying he wouldn’t consider them because they referenced “unproven allegations” made about Lamberson.

Hamilton also said he wouldn’t watch video of Lamberson engaging in sexual intercourse with his victims, despite requests from Hicks that he do so before sentencing Lamberson.

Hicks said the families of all three victims were present in the courtroom Monday, and he said he thought they were pleased the judge had sentenced Lamberson according to what the prosecution had recommended.

“I’m pleased with the outcome here,” Hicks said.

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