Kirsten Lamb tells sentencing judge she doesn't regret attacking her mother with hammer, knife
Published on: March 17, 2017 | Last Updated: March 17, 2017 6:17 PM MDT
Accused killer Kirsten Lamb SUPPLIED
A woman who admitted to killing her mother by beating her with a hammer and cutting her neck told a judge Friday that she believes she “acted reasonably under the circumstances.”
“I feel I acted in the best interest of my family to stand up to her,” Kirsten Michelle Lamb said as she began reading a five-page speech she’d prepared for the sentencing hearing.
Lamb, 33, was charged with second-degree murder in connection to the November 2010 death of her mother, Sandra Lamb. In January, Lamb, who suffers from schizophrenia, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Crown prosecutor Danielle Green argued Lamb should get a 15- to 18-year sentence, citing the “severe degree of violence” involved in the crime.
Lamb’s defence lawyer, Mona Duckett, urged the judge to give Lamb credit for the more than six years she’s already served – which would work out to nine years and three months when enhanced – and that she be sentenced to two more years in a federal penitentiary, to be followed by two to three years of probation.
Lamb has been in custody since being arrested in December 2010. She was transferred to Alberta Hospital and certified under the Mental Health Act in late 2013.
All persons convicted of a crime are offered the opportunity to address the court before being sentenced.
Lamb used it as a chance to tell Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Terry Clackson that her mother was trying to kill her and that she was fighting for her life.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Lamb drove to her mother’s house in Edmonton on the night of the attack, and the fight began after Sandra Lamb let her inside.
“Sandra was a dangerous person,” Lamb said, adding that she hadn’t wanted to kill her mother, and tried to avoid hitting her on the top of the head.
Court heard earlier that Lamb struck her mother in the head repeatedly with a hammer, causing injuries so severe that pieces of her mother’s skull, teeth and tissue were located on the floor near her body. Lamb then used a knife to make repeated cuts to her mother’s neck, deep enough that a groove mark was made in a vertebrae.
Lamb also told the judge Friday that she’d suffered a head injury during the fight, and that she didn’t receive treatment for it while in custody after her arrest.
There is no mention of physical injuries to Lamb in the agreed statement of facts, which note she spent the month following the killing caring for her children, and that she attended her mother’s funeral.
Court heard earlier that the mother and daughter didn’t often see one another but noted that their previous relationship was a negative one. Lamb’s sister, Jill Felzien, had reported that their mother was abusive to both of her daughters when they were very young.
Lamb wore a grey sweater to court Friday, hair cut short around the back of her head, and hanging longer on either side of her face. She told Clackson that she’d suffered a concussion caused by the weight of her previously long hair.
Prior to the lawyer’s submissions, written victim impact statements by Sandra Lamb’s parents and Felzien were read out in court.
“I have never known such pain. I am shattered by grief, devastated and so angry,” Shirley Lamb wrote.
Felzien wrote that she has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression since her mother’s death.
“I live my life in constant fear,” she said.
Clackson has reserved handing down his sentence until March 31.
After hearing Lamb’s statement, he said it would not affect his understanding of each side’s submissions.