Former Missouri Officer Who Fatally Shot a Black Man Plans Another Appeal and Asks For Bond

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri detective convicted in the 2019 death of a Black man plans another appeal and asked for bond Wednesday, a day after he was jailed.

Eric J. DeValkenaere’s lawyer asked appeals court judges to reinstate his bond so he can remain free pending requests for a rehearing or an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The former officer had been free on bond during his initial appeal, but judges revoked bond Tuesday after upholding his conviction of second-degree manslaughter and armed criminal action in the death of 26-year-old Cameron Lamb.

DeValkenaere surrendered himself Tuesday but has not yet been transferred from a Platte County jail to state prison.

His lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office supports DeValkenaere’s bond request. Bailey has played an unusual role in the former detective’s case, in June asking the appeals court to reverse DeValkenaere’s conviction or order a new trial. In Missouri, the attorney general’s office handles criminal appeals and typically defends convictions, rather than appealing them.

Rumors have swirled that Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson was considering pardoning or granting clemency to DeValkenaere, although on Tuesday spokesperson Johnathan Shiflett said in an email that the governor is “assessing the situation” and no decision has been reached on whether to grant a pardon.

Lamb’s stepfather, Aqil Bey, during a Wednesday press conference asked Parson to think about Lamb when deciding whether to pardon DeValkenaere.

“We pray that he take into consideration who Cameron Lamb was, what he would offer this city and could offer this city as an upstanding citizen (and) as a father to his children,” Bey said.

Kansas City Law Enforcement Accountability Project founder Steve Young asked supporters to call Parson and request that he not pardon DeValkenaere.

“He has one foot in and one foot out (of jail),” Young said. “Who gets that kind of privilege?”

DeValkenaere, who is white, was found guilty in 2021 in the death of Lamb, who was parking a pickup truck in his backyard in Kansas City when the officer shot him.

The judge who found DeValkenaere guilty in a bench trial said police were the initial aggressors and had a duty to retreat, but DeValkenaere illegally used deadly force instead.

Prosecutors and Lamb’s family have alleged a handgun was planted after the shooting, but that issue was not addressed by Jackson County Circuit Court Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs when he convicted the detective.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel ruled unanimously there had been enough evidence to convict DeValkenaere. He had been sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and six years for armed criminal action, with the sentences to run consecutively.

Police said DeValkenaere and his partner, Troy Schwalm, went to Lamb’s home after reports he’d been chasing his girlfriend’s convertible in a stolen pickup truck. DeValkenaere said he fired after Lamb pointed a gun at another detective. The judge said the officers had no probable cause to believe any crime had been committed, had no warrant for Lamb’s arrest, and had no search warrant or consent to be on the property.