Kansas City detective convicted in killing of Black man will remain free even after he's sentenced
Eric DeValkenaere faces up to four years in prison on an involuntary manslaughter charge and at least three years on an armed criminal action charge.
The judge who convicted former Kansas City police detective Eric DeValkenaere in the killing of Cameron Lamb has taken the unusual step of agreeing to let him stay out of prison on bond after his appeal — even though he hasn’t yet appealed.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Dale Youngs on Tuesday ruled that DeValkenaere can remain free after his scheduled sentencing on March 4, when DeValkenaere plans to appeal.
After a four-day bench trial, Youngs in November found DeValkenaere guilty of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. DeValkenaere has been free on bond since then.
DeValkenaere, who is white, shot Lamb, a 26-year-old Black man, as Lamb was backing his red pickup truck into his basement garage. DeValkenaere claimed he saw Lamb reaching for a gun.
The December 2019 shooting occurred not long after a police helicopter spotted a red truck chasing a purple Mustang at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour through a residential neighborhood.
Prosecutors argued that DeValkenaere acted recklessly by entering Lamb’s property without a warrant, knocking over a makeshift fence and firing his weapon within seconds of coming upon the pickup truck.
DeValkenaere, a 20-year veteran of the police department, is believed to be the first Kansas City law enforcement officer since 1941 to have stood trial for the fatal shooting of a Black man. The police officer in the earlier case was acquitted.
DeValkenaere faces up to four years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge and at least three years on the armed criminal action charge.
Jackson County prosecutors had opposed DeValkenaere’s appeal bond motion, calling it an “extraordinary request.”
“While a trial involving a police shooting is somewhat rare, the Defendant’s former employment and the public nature of this case do not require this Court to treat the circumstances presented in this motion differently,” prosecutors wrote in opposing the request.
DeValkenaere’s lawyers argued that he is not a flight risk, has family and friends in the community, and poses no threat to the community.