KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County prosecutors have weighed in on the upcoming sentence of a former Kansas City detective.

In an 11-page memo, prosecutors asked Judge J. Dale Youngs to sentence former detective Eric DeValkenaere to four years in prison on his involuntary manslaughter conviction and nine years for armed criminal action. Prosecutors asked the sentences to run concurrently.

Sentencing is scheduled for Friday.

Former prosecutor turned defense attorney Phil LeVota says the judge has discretion under sentencing guidelines. LeVota added numerous factors are taken into account.

“He has to sentence the defendant 1-4 years on involuntary manslaughter,” LeVota said. “He has the ability to sentence the defendant three years to whatever he wants on armed criminal action.”

DeValkenaere was convicted of the crimes in November in the shooting death of 26-year-old Cameron Lamb.

DeValkenaere and his partner were called to Lamb’s neighborhood for a traffic incident near East 41st Street and College Avenue on Dec. 13, 2019. 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 admitted to shooting Lamb, but said it 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.

Youngs found the officers had no probable cause to believe that Lamb had committed a crime before the shooting, and had no arrest warrant, search warrant or consent to be on Lamb’s property.

“Despite being trained on the applicable law and being sworn to uphold the law, the Defendant disregarded both and unreasonably and unnecessarily escalated a situation that had already de-escalated, and which ultimately led to Mr. Lamb’s death,” the prosecutor’s office wrote in the sentencing memo.

“This disregard and indifference to Mr. Lamb’s death continued after the shooting when the Defendant elected to falsely report information involving guns to legitimize his own conduct and create a more dangerous situation to justify his actions.”

Prosecutors also allege in the memo that DeValkenaere has not accepted any responsibility for Lamb’s death or his own actions in causing the death.

According to the memo, DeValkenaere has not used his option to submit letters to the court highlighting his life and character prior to sentencing, as many other defendants have done.

But his defense attorneys highlighted DeValkanere is a Kansas City native, son of a police officer, and had earned numerous honors and praise for his work. They also note as a cop, he would be a target in prison. 

Under Missouri law, the conviction requires Youngs to sentence DeValenaere to at least three years in prison without eligibility for parole.

Last week Youngs granted DeValkenaere bond as he appeals his conviction. It means although DeValkenaere will be sentenced Friday, he will not be taken immediately to jail, as long as he meets the terms of his bond.

Community leaders said the journey to a verdict and sentencing has been a long one, but one thing they hope to see is justice. 

“It’s a place to start,” said Damon Daniel, president of Ad Hoc Group Against Crime. “But we have to be really conscious of what that looks like. Whether it be the actual verdict that comes out, whether it’s a sentence that’s consecutive or concurrent, all of those things matter. A life has been taken. That void is forever.”

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