Tuesday, January 31

14-Year-Old Girl Charged With 3rd-Degree Murder In Connection To Beating Death Of James Lambert In North Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 14-year-old girl has been charged with third-degree murder and conspiracy in connection to the beating death of 73-year-old James Lambert in North Philadelphia. The girl, whose name has not been released, turned herself in to police Wednesday morning.

The girl was among several juveniles caught on camera during the attack that involved a traffic cone being used to beat Lambert. He died the day after the attack.

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The 14-year-old girl turned herself in to the police alongside her attorney and mother just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Her attorney only identified her by the initials GM, but he said she will be charged with third-degree murder as an adult.

“My client is 14 years of age, just turned 14, so I would just ask that everybody hold judgment,” defense attorney Lonny Fish said.

Fish is the 14-year-old girl’s attorney. He believes she is not a danger to the public.

“This is a bigger issue, not just small,” Fish said. “To lock up these children for a long period of time, do you think that will fix the problem that we have? I would say it’s not. My goal is to keep her in a juvenile system, in a school. No questions asked. Right now, she’ll be charged as an adult statutory, that’s the law. She’s being charged with murder in the third degree, conspiracy and I’m assuming possession of an instrument of crime.”

He adds her bail is expected to be set either Wednesday night or Thursday.

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Also Wednesday, a 13-year-old girl turned herself in but was later released from police custody and was not charged. She turned herself in with her mom, attorney and other relatives shielding her.

Her attorney said a warrant was issued for her on third-degree murder charges, but she has since walked out of police custody and the Philadelphia district attorney says she is not being charged.

“I understand that this is a very serious situation and that these children have to be punished because they did something wrong, but not all of them are the same,” attorney Donte Mills said.

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He says the girl tried to do the right thing, adding she called 911 and waited with Lambert until medics arrived.

“My client tried to prevent the group from doing that,” Mills said. “Mr. Lambert interacted with the children and a cone was picked up, a cone was used to assault him. My client, as you can see on the video, tried to grab the cone and stop Mr. Lambert from being assaulted.”

As of Wednesday, four of the seven juveniles seen on surveillance video during the attack have turned themselves in.

On Monday, 14-year-old Richard Jones turned himself in to the police. He was charged with third-degree murder as an adult for his involvement in the horrific attack.

His 10-year-old brother also turned himself in and was later released.

Philadelphians are weighing in as three persons of interest came forward to police days after authorities released surveillance video of a group of juveniles wanted in the assault that ultimately took Lamber’s life.

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“I’d say it’s fair, I’m not going to say they deserve any mercy or anything,” a man said.

Some are questioning if the charges will fit the crime.

“When you do the crime, you have to do the time,” one woman said. “I don’t believe in adolescents being charged as adults no matter what crime it is, but I do believe they need to be charged.”

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CBS3’s Jasmine Payoute and Siafa Lewis contributed to this report.

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