The stark costs of artificially enforced Cannabis scarcity were highlighted on Friday. Malcolm Lambert got sentenced for a murder he committed more than three years ago, reports The Jacksonville Daily News.
In Onslow County Superior Court, Judge Imelda Pate gave Lambert, of Jacksonville, a minimum sentence of 18 years and maximum of 23 in prison. The sentence is primarily for charges of second-degree murder; discharging a weapon into an occupied property was a secondary charge.
Prosecutor Kelly Neal said the crime happened after the defendant gave the victim, 27-year-old Leroy Quinn, $20 worth of marijuana five to seven days prior to the shooting. Neal said the defendant did so under the assumption the debt would be repaid.
“Twenty dollars – that’s what this whole case came down to,” Neal said after the hearing. “Because of that, the defendant chose to take a firearm and shoot up an apartment complex into the back window of the apartment. And in the process Leroy Quinn lost his life over $20 of marijuana.”
Unsuccessful Attempt At Debt Collection
According to Neal, on Nov. 16, 2018, Lambert visited Quinn’s residence at Liberty Crossing Apartments between 4 and 5 p.m. to collect the $20 he was owed. The victim appeared at the door with a BB gun, Neal said. After a verbal argument, Quinn shut the door in the defendant’s face.
Shortly after dark, Lambert, who was living in the neighboring Plaza Manor Apartments at the time, returned to Quinn’s apartment complex. He fired four shots with a handgun into the window of the victim’s residence, the prosecutor said. Three bullets pierced the glass and a fourth hit the window casing.
According to Neal, Quinn was struck in the left wrist and the left chest, where a bullet went through his heart and was lodged into his liver. The victim was said to have collapsed in the living room, where he died and was later discovered by his mother.
No Weapon Ever Recovered
Jacksonville police responded, finding bullet holes on the outside of the home and inside on the walls of the apartment. However, no weapon was ever recovered. Lambert was arrested and charged with murder five days later. An autopsy report found Quinn died of internal bleeding via gunshot wound.
Walter H. Paramore III, Lambert’s attorney, entered an Alford plea of guilty to both charges. An Alford plea means the defendant admitted no guilt, but was sentenced as if he had.
“Whatever happened here was absolutely a one time experience,” Paramore said. “I believe these were warning shots that were fired, and I do not believe that there was any premeditation.”
The victim’s mother was not present at Friday’s sentencing, but the prosecution read a statement on her behalf. She wrote that a life sentence would be appreciated, but that she forgives Lambert and prays that God forgives him.