KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Jackson County judge found Kansas City police Det. Eric DeValkenaere guilty of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the 2019 shooting death of Cameron Lamb.
Judge J. Dale Youngs issued the verdict Friday afternoon, one week after DeValkenaere’s trial ended.
Before issuing his verdict, Youngs said DeValkenaere and his partner had no probable cause to be in Lamb’s garage and did not have a search warrant or evidence to obtain a search warrant. Youngs also noted that Lamb had an expectation of privacy on his property and garage.
Youngs also determined that prosecutors met their burden of proof that DeValkenaere was not acting in self-defense, or in the defense of his partner at the time he shot and killed Lamb on Dec. 13, 2019.
During the trial, DeValkenaere admitted to shooting Lamb, but said the shooting was to protect his partner after Lamb pulled a gun and pointed it at the other officer. DeValkenaere’s partner testified that he didn’t see a weapon in Lamb’s hand.
DeValkenaere and his partner were called the Lamb’s neighborhood to a traffic incident near East 41st Street and College Avenue. A police helicopter saw a red pickup, believed to have been involved in the incident, turn into Lamb’s garage. The two officers followed Lamb onto his property.
During the trial, DeValkenaere’s defense team argued that his actions were part of his job. Prosecutors argued that police officers shouldn’t have been in Lamb’s backyard in the first place and because of that, use of force and self-defense arguments didn’t apply.