The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 5, 2014

UPDATE: Defense rests, prosecution begins calling rebuttal witnesses in murder trial

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — The defense rested its case on day six of Jeremy James Lambert’s murder trial in the killing of Cyan Maroney, and the prosecution began calling rebuttal witnesses to testify.

Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller first called Dr. Jennifer Osborne, 30, of Charlottesville, Va., to testify about her relationship with Lambert during high school and college.

The two first met when Lambert was 17 and Osborne was 15, while they were both attending Wyoming East High School. She said they became boyfriend and girlfriend, but she was told by Lambert that his mother did not like her and therefore they kept their relationship private.

She said Lambert came to pick her up one day, which was not planned. He wanted her to “run away with him to Florida,” Osborne said, but she told him it wasn’t right and they should stay and finish high school.

When she looked in the back of his car, she saw a gun and a baseball bat. “He said he would not be afraid to use it,” but Osborne said he didn’t specify which object.

Their relationship ended after that incident, but after Lambert’s return from his Kuwait military deployment, Osborne said the two ran into each other at the mall.

“He seemed to be more mature. I thought he had gotten rid of the negativity in high school that made him lash out like he did,” she said.

Osborne said she and her mother had planned a trip to Pittsburgh for a concert and Lambert asked if he could join them. They allowed him to come, but during the concert, Osborne said Lambert would leave periodically and return with a drink. By the end of the night, she said he was “drunk” and “very angry.”

She told him their relationship was over and he could either ride back home with them, or find another way. His anger escalated at that point, she said, and he punched out a mirror and a taillight of another car.

When they finally got him in the car, Osborne said he put his arm around her neck from behind the car seat and began choking her.

“I told him we were done and that he needed help… He was angry, very angry.”

She said he began calling her so frequently that she asked him to stop, but he eventually started calling her parents. During one call to her mother, he said he had hepatitis C and he hoped he had given it to her daughter and he hoped she died.

Someone called to warn Osborne that he was coming to her Morgantown apartment with a gun, and she said Lambert did show up later with a gun strapped to his hip, which she saw through the peephole of her door.

She said he banged on her door and said he just wanted to talk. She wouldn’t let him in, so he said, “You stupid b****, you’re going to talk to me,” she said.

She told him she was going to call the police if he didn’t leave her alone.

Keller asked Osborne, who is a pulmonary critical care fellow at the University of Virginia Hospital, if she has treated any post-traumatic stress disorder patients.

Osborne said yes she has treated PTSD patients, but from what she saw, Lambert did not display PTSD symptoms.

Keller then called two other men, Chad Weaver and Shawn Jarrell, who were deployed with Lambert to Kuwait, to testify.

Both of them roomed with Lambert while stationed in Kuwait, and even lived with him for a while after their return home.

Weaver and Jarrell confirmed there were no Iraqi Scud missile attacks on their base, nor did they ever see any combat-related trauma or injuries.

“I wouldn’t describe anything as traumatic,” Weaver said.

Keller asked him about Lambert’s mood when he drank alcohol after they returned home; he said, “At times… he would get moody and sometimes violent.”

Weaver and Jarrell were the friends Lambert referenced who took him to a VA hospital when he said he was having suicidal thoughts.

Jarrell agreed that their time in Kuwait was “definitely not traumatically stressful.”

He said that Lambert’s suicidal thoughts “didn’t have anything to do with Kuwait,” he was having “girl trouble.”

The jury recessed for lunch at noon and will reconvene at 1 p.m. for the afternoon session.