Lucian Lambes, 23, of Newcomerstown, is facing a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 49 after a Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court jury found him guilty on all charges for an attempted robbery and shooting last year in Oxford Township. (Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The 23-year-old Newcomerstown man on trial for an attempted robbery last year that escalated into a car chase and shooting has been found guilty on all charges.
A Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court jury deliberated less than two hours Wednesday afternoon before finding Lucian Lambes guilty on one count of aggravated robbery and three counts each of felonious assault and attempted murder. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer says he’s pleased with the outcome.
"It was clear that the jury was very attentive through the whole trial. I believe they came to the right conclusion, and it’s a good day in the Tuscarawas County justice system," he says.
The three-count charges are for each of the three victims in the SUV ambushed by masked gunmen during a drug deal in a remote location on Liberty Road. Styer in his closing statement said things didn’t go as planned, and that's when Lambes and co-defendant Doug Casteel went “off script,” chasing the victims down for four and a half miles while at least one of them continued shooting.
"Lambes is probably driving. Casteel is probably firing from the passenger’s seat but, again, it doesn’t exactly matter who was doing what. We just know that they were working together in that enterprise."
Styer also said it was clear from estimated 10 to 20 rounds fired during the crime that the robbers intended to kill.
"They were trying to kill them: I think the only reasonable interpretation is that you fire one or two shots, maybe it’s to scare them. You continue to fire and you’ve hit somebody in that car and the only reason you stopped is because a good Samaritan intervened, I think the only reasonable interpretation there is that your purpose was to cause the death of somebody."
The jury also handed down guilty verdicts on the three- and five-year gun specifications attached to the attempted murder and felonious assault charges. Styer says those charges will merge into a single, five-year mandatory prison term.
"You can’t stack them on top of each other and run them consecutive, so we’ll just go forward on the five-year specification, and so he’ll have five years mandatory time and then the judge will have to decide the remainder of the sentence," he says.
Lambes faces up to 49 years in prison at sentencing in around six weeks, but Styer says anything beyond the five years would be at the judge’s discretion of the judge. Anthony Koukoutas says he’s already advised his Lambes to appeal the verdict.
Lambes was previously charged with an additional count of conspiracy but Styer filed a motion during the trial to have it dismissed from the indictment.