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Jackson County prosecutor seeks to file brief in response to convicted KCPD Det. Eric DeValkenaere’s appeal

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to run for Missouri Democratic Chair
Posted at 11:30 AM, Jun 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-14 12:30:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker filed a motion Monday in convicted former Kansas City, Missouri, Police Det. Eric DeValkenaere’s appeal, seeking permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the conviction.

Baker said her office “does not know whether Respondent (the Missouri Attorney General’s Office) intends to defend the conviction that Amicus obtained. The People of Jackson County and the victims deserve to have an advocate defend the conviction obtained by the State.”

Baker then asserts her office is “well-placed to submit an amicus brief in this case” in the Motion for Leave to File a Brief of Amicus Curiae.

Baker’s office charged, tried and secured a conviction against DeValkenaere for second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in connection with the Dec. 3, 2019, shooting death of Cameron Lamb in the 4100 block of College Avenue.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office handles conviction appeals, but it has yet to respond to DeValkenaere’s appellate brief, which was filed in November 2022.

Attorneys for the state have filed for and been granted six motions for extension in seven months, prompting Baker’s office to seek leave to file a brief in response to DeValkenaere’s appeal.

The latest deadline for Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office to file a response to DeValkenaere’s appeal is June 26.

“Despite the long delay, the People of Jackson County, the victims, and Amicus are still unclear as to whether the Missouri Attorney General will file a brief and, if so, whether that brief will be in response to Appellant’s Brief and in support of Respondent’s position at trial and the verdict,” Baker wrote in a brief to the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District.

The amicus brief Baker hopes to file is designed “to ensure that the appeal is prosecuted under the theory of the case presented by Amicus at trial and under the proper standard of review owed the verdict,” according to the brief.

DeValkenaere was convicted in November 2021 after a four-day bench trial overseen by Jackson County Circuit Court Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs.

He had been indicted in June 2020 by a Jackson County grand jury and was sentenced to six years in jail in March 2022.

Despite the felony convictions, Youngs allowed DeValkenaere to remain free on bond throughout the trial and during the ongoing appeal, a move he acknowledged was unprecedented.

Baker sent a letter Tuesday to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson that asked him not to pardon DeValkenaere after receiving reports he was considering whitewashing the first conviction of a KCPD officer for killing a Black man in the line of duty.

Lamb's family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against DeValkenaere and the KCPD Board of Police Commissioners, a governor-appointed board that runs the police department.

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