Miss. high court rejects post-conviction claims in Lawrence Co. case

Published 5:02 pm Friday, September 15, 2006

The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected claims from convicted murderer Gary Dean Lambert that he deserves a new trial because of a faulty indictment.

Lambert had sought a new trial on grounds that his indictment did not clearly define the crime with which he was charged to support a capital murder indictment.

In Mississippi, capital murder is defined as murder committed along with the commission of another crime — in this case, burglary with intent to commit sexual battery.

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Justice Jess Dickinson, writing Thursday for the court, said Lambert was convicted of simple murder, a crime clearly provided for in the indictment.

“His simple murder conviction was completely unrelated to the burglary charge, no matter the underlying offense, so he cannot reasonably claim prejudice to his defense,” Dickinson said.

A Covington County jury in 1982 convicted Lambert of strangling 88-year-old Pearl Lott Trigg of Seminary. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors said Trigg died of strangulation due to the fracture of a hyoid bone in the throat and larynx.