Man found guilty of plotting to kill wife claims missing evidence proves innocence
EL PASO, Texas —
A man convicted of planning to kill his wife was in court Wednesday waiting to learn his fate. In October, Carl Lamb was found guilty of trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife, Graciela Lamb. But his family said there is evidence that proves he is innocent, which Lamb mentioned on the stand Wednesday. Lamb sat in front of a judge Wednesday and asked him for the minimum sentence, which is 25 years.
Even with the minimum sentence, Lamb's 11-year-old son, Erik, would be an adult by the time he gets out of prison.
"That makes me feel sad because I want my dad to grow up with me. My dad is like my best friend. And I love him. He shouldn't really be here for something that they don't have a lot of evidence,” Erik said. "My dad is a great guy. He takes me wherever he goes. He goes to the studio I go, he goes to the mall I go and he buys me like anything I want. I hope that the judge realizes that he hasn't really done anything. I'm hoping they give him the minimum."
Lamb's brother, Frederick Williams, also testified on Wednesday.
"Everyone should be held accountable for their actions. I'm hoping for the minimum sentence or something below that if he could impose that. But if not, I'm for the minimum sentence because like I said, no one deserves life in prison for someone that didn't even get harmed or touched,” Williams said.
Williams said even after his brother was jailed, Lamb's now-ex-wife still came to family events, like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"Yes. I haven't seen her in quite some time but she did used to come to our family events. Then we went to her birthday parties and things like that,” Williams said. “She wasn't scared. If you're scared of someone, you are going to be scared of their family as well because you're going to think about that person when you're around."
On the stand Wednesday, Lamb himself told the court there are phone calls that have not been turned over to his defense attorney. Lamb claims in those calls, his military-trained ex-wife says she tried to murder him, not the other way around. Lamb testified that in those phone calls, Graciela admitted to putting a belt around his neck, choking him and throwing him in the closet.
"There is so much evidence that they haven't even brought to the table that can prove that my brother is innocent. And they're not bringing it,” said Annie Holt, Lamb’s sister. “I believe that the DA, they are just trying to build a case on my brother turning him into this person that he's not."
Holt said she believes her brother is being racially profiled and wrongly convicted. She said his appearance is the way it is because he idolizes rapper Lil’ Wayne and tries to emulate his style.
"He's not that type of person. He's loving. He loves sports. He's a rapper. He had just signed a record deal. So he was getting ready to do what he wanted to do all of his life. And this happens,” Holt said. "He's not a killer. He's not anybody that I want to harm any of his family. He loved his wife. He loved his wife's daughter. He treated her daughter like it was his own."
Holt said the evidence gathered by the informant who tipped police off to Lamb’s plan is not trustworthy.
"It WAS a setup. There was a guy in jail, a snitch, that's getting paid $250 to pretty much lie on people. To make up the stories of people. So how can you hold that credible in court? How can you believe somebody like that?"
Lamb told the court on the stand that this is not the end of this case. There is a motion for a new trial and an appeal on the table.
"We're going to appeal it because it's not right,” Holt said. “There's just not enough evidence to convict someone of this and give them 25 years to life. For what? For a phone call that you guys barely even knew what he was saying?"
Lamb testified Wednesday that he had no reason to want to harm Graciela. He said they had their ups and downs, like most couples. He also testified that Graciela did not put him on her life insurance policy.
“I just think it wouldn't be irrational for him to give him such a long sentence for something that no one even got harmed or anything,” Williams said.
The state still has more questions for Lamb to ask on Thursday morning, and then the defense will call one last witness. The defense is also working to get those missing phone calls admitted into evidence. In addition, the judge wants to compare handwriting in some letters that prosecutors want admitted into evidence. The judge said he will also need to decide whether the letters are relevant to the case. Lamb told the state that he did not write the letter they showed him on the stand. The sentencing phase will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday.