Judge reinstates ruling to free woman convicted of stalking, killing teen-age rival

Saturday, November 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A federal judge has reinstated a decision to free a woman who was convicted nine years ago of killing a high school rival, a high-profile murder case that was portrayed in the television movie ``The Stalking of Laurie Show.''

It wasn't immediately clear whether the ruling would free Lisa Michelle Lambert, now 29. Prosecutors promised an immediate appeal.

U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell's 1997 ruling, which he reinstated on Friday, said Lambert was innocent of the killing and was the victim of ``wholesale prosecutorial misconduct.''

Lambert was convicted in 1992 of killing Laurie Show, 16, with the help of her boyfriend, whom Show had previously dated, and another friend.

Show's father, John Show, said Friday that he was shocked at the judge's decision. ``That is insane,'' he said.

Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Fisher, said Fisher ``will do everything in his power to keep this cold blooded killer behind bars for the rest of her life.''

Lambert was freed after Dalzell's first ruling in 1997, but was returned to prison a year later following a ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court had said the federal judge's ruling was premature because Lambert had not yet exhausted her appeals in state courts.

The state courts upheld the conviction, and Lambert in March lost her bid to have the case heard by the Supreme Court.

Dalzell said in his ruling that none of those decisions barred him from again ordering Lambert's release. He gave attorneys until Dec. 20 to file further arguments in the case.

Lambert's attorneys Christina Rainville and Peter Greenberg were out of the country and not available for comment, their office said.

Prosecutors said Lambert, angry that Show had been involved with her boyfriend, stalked, intimidated and murdered the teen-ager. Lambert and Tabitha Buck were convicted of slitting Show's throat while the boyfriend, Lawrence Yunkin, drove a getaway car. Buck is serving a life sentence. Yunkin pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and is serving 10 to 20 years.

In his 1997 ruling, Dalzell said police and prosecutors committed perjury and destroyed and suppressed evidence to frame Lambert. One example he cited was the testimony of the victim's mother.

Hazel Show said she found her daughter bleeding to death, and that her final words were ``Michelle did it.''

Dalzell said there was no way the victim could have spoken with such a deep wound to her throat.

Lambert has maintained that she was framed.