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Convicted former KCPD detective formally petitions for post-sentencing appeal bond

Eric DeValkenaere sentencing set for March 4
eric devalkenaere
Posted at 11:52 AM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 16:41:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The former Kansas City, Missouri, police officer who was convicted of two felonies in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb has formally filed a motion to be allowed to remain free on bond pending an appeal of his case.

Eric DeValkenaere, 43, is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 after he was convicted in November of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Attorneys for DeValkenaere, including Molly Hastings, raised the possibility of allowing him to remain free on bond during an appeal of his conviction in a case management conference Jan. 26 in the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County before Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs.

Generally, once a defendant has been sentenced, that person will be remanded to custody to begin serving a prison sentence, when applicable.

DeValkenaere’s conviction carries a mandatory prison term.

He could receive probation or up to four years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, which is a Class E felony under Missouri law, but the armed criminal action conviction includes a mandatory three- to 15-year prison term.

In a Motion for Appeal Bond filed Monday, DeValkenaere’s legal team argues that during a forthcoming appeal, he should remain free because the court found “no evidence of malice” in DeValkenaere’s conduct and he is not a flight risk.

The motion notes that DeValkenaere — who worked for KCPD from 1999 until Jan. 24, 2022 — has lived in Kansas City since 1984.

He graduated from Park Hill High School in 1997, has family in the area, lined up a job with a North Kansas City landscaping and lawn maintenance company, and has no prior convictions.

DeValkenaere and his wife have three children — ages 14, 17 and 19 — and have lived at the same residence for nearly 14 years.

During last week’s case management conference, Youngs, who presided over DeValkenaere’s bench trial, acknowledged that he is a unique defendant, but also said granting bond post-sentencing would be unprecedented.

“In almost 13 years of doing this, I have never stayed execution (of a sentence) and I have never ordered an appeal bond post-verdict,” said Youngs, who was appointed as a judge in Jackson County in 2009.

Youngs found DeValkenaere guilty on both counts in the Dec. 3, 2019, shooting of Lamb during an encounter in the 4100 block of College Avenue.

Youngs said DeValkenaere and his partner in the Violent Offenders Unit, Sgt. Troy Schwalm, trampled the Constitution in entering the property, where Lamb was shot as he tried to back a truck into a garage behind the house where he lived.

DeValkenaere testified that he saw Lamb begin to raise a gun aimed toward Schwalm before he opened fire, but Youngs determined that the shooting was the result of a warrantless and illegal search that made the detectives' conduct unconstitutional.

The verdict was handed down Nov. 19, one week after four days of testimony in a bench trial.

RELATED | Day 1 recap: KCPD detective's partner testifies on 1st day of trial
RELATED | Day 2 recap: Lamb's roommate testifies at KCOPD detective's trial
RELATED | Day 3 recap: DeValkenaere testifies, denies planting evidence
RELATED | Day 4 recap: Judge to decide the fate of a KCPD detective

Lamb’s family has been outspoken about his death at the hands of police, and his name was among those invoked by protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s May 2020 murder by Minneapolis police.

The mothers of Lamb's three children also are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Cameron Lamb

RELATED | Cameron Lamb's family returns to where he was shot, killed 2 years ago

A Jackson County grand jury handed down an indictment in June 2020.

Lamb’s mother, Laurie Bey, and other family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against DeValkenaere and the KCPD Board of Commissioners in June 2021.

Here is the full motion:

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