KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sentencing memorandum from the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office recommends a nine-year prison sentence for a former Kansas City, Missouri, police detective, Eric DeValkenaere who was convicted of two felonies last year in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb in December 2019.
The former officer's attorneys argue that punishment is too steep.
Jackson County Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs will decide when DeValkenaere is sentenced on Friday.
Youngs found DeValkenaere guilty of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action, both felonies, in the Dec. 3, 2019, shooting death of Lamb.
According to the sentencing memorandum from the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, DeValkenaere "had no search warrant or arrest warrant or any basis to seek one," a critical factor in Youngs' guilty verdict announced on Nov. 19, 2021.
Lamb was inside a pickup truck on his property and DeValkenaere claimed Lamb had gun.
DeValkenaere said he feared Lamb was going to shoot his partner, Troy Schwalm, who was in the backyard with DeValkenaere.
Prosecutors want Youngs to sentence DeValkenaere to four years in state prison on the second-degree involuntary manslaughter conviction and nine years on the armed criminal action conviction.
They also ask the judge to run the sentences concurrently, which means DeValkenaere would serve time on both convictions simultaneously. That makes it a nine-year, rather than a 13-year sentence, if the prison terms were served consecutively.
DeValkenaere's attorneys argue that his career as a police officer and the widespread publicity surrounding the case makes him "unusually susceptible to prison abuse."
They also highlight that DeValkenaere is the son of a well-respected police officer and had many accomplishments during his more than 20 years with KCPD. DeValkenaere started with the department in 1999 and was no longer employed there as of Jan. 24, 2022.
Among the accomplishments the defense cited was an instance with DeValkenaere saved a child from drowning in addition to solving hundreds of violent crimes and working nearly 20 years without a single disciplinary action against him, according to the defense memo.
DeValkenaere also received dozens of departmental commendations for his work.
A KCPD helicopter followed Lamb, a father of three, after he was spotted chasing his girlfriend in a separate through city streets near his residence in the 4100 block of College Avenue.
Schwalm and DeValkenaere were in plainclothes and driving unmarked vehicles when they arrived at Lamb's residence and, based on Youngs' judgment, unconstitutionally entered the property before the deadly encouter.
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