The trial of 23-year-old Lucian Lambes started last week for charges of conspiracy, aggravated robbery, felonious assault and attempted murder in connection with a robbery last year in Oxford Township that turned into a car chase and shooting. (Tusco TV)
NEW PHILADELPHIA (Tusco TV) - The state is continuing to lay out its case against a Newcomerstown man accused of taking part in an armed robbery attempt that turned into a car chase and shooting.
The trial of 23-year-old Lucian Lambes started last week for charges of conspiracy, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and attempted murder. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer in his opening statement to jurors said the crime was fueled by drug use.
“He was a young man whose life was controlled by drugs, and I don’t think he felt like he was a victim to that," Styer said. "He embraced the drug life. He embraced the thug life.”
Styer said they believe the evidence and testimony suggest Lambes was driving the car that chased and shot at the victims for four and a half miles. He urged the jury to find him guilty on all charges even if they believe he never fired a shot.
“Whether Lambes was the accomplice in these crimes or the principal offender, it doesn’t matter. He’s just as guilty,” he said.
Lambes is being represented by Attorney Anthony Koukoutas. He questioned the reliability of the evidence and the motives of the two women who would be testifying against his client.
“These are two individuals who when initially confronted by the police, lied about their involvement, lied about having anything to do with any robbery and only when confronted with evidence of their involvement, and only then would they decide that oh wait, let me say something now,” he said.
The jury will be back in session tomorrow to hear testimony from the prosecution's remaining witnesses.
Meanwhile, the attorney for Lambes' co-defendant Douglas Casteel has filed a motion to vacate the guilty plea his client entered in exchange for a 17-year sentence recommendation. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for June 19th. Casteel was wearing a court-ordered GPS ankle monitor at the time of the robbery.