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Cook County Jail Inmate Charged with 32 Years in Prison for Murder of Cellmate

Cook County Jail Inmate Charged with 32 Years in Prison for Murder of Cellmate

A Cook County Jail inmate previously convicted for felony was sentenced to another 32 years in prison for the murder of cellmate in 2007, announced by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. 

The investigation of the case of David Jamison, 60, has been reopened in 2009 after Tribune raised questions on the initial probe of the case. In October of 2012, Jamison was convicted for the First-Degree Murder of his former cellmate, John Lambert, who was found unconscious in their cell on June 26, 2007 – Lambert’s 25th birthday. 

Jamison was previously indicted for felony and was awaiting on the retrial of his pending rape case, which was overturned on appeal, at the time of the incident. Later on, he pled guilty to Residential Burglary and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. According to the prosecutors who previously investigated the case on June 27, 2007, an argument ensued after Lambert allowed another inmate to read and borrow one of Jamison’s books without his permission. Witnesses testified that this altercation did not turn physical; however, it was reported that Jamison attacked Lambert at night after lockdown has been imposed. 

Lambert was found vomiting and seizing the next morning. He was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital for the first aide and was then transferred to the Stroger Hospital. A federal lawsuit by the parents of the victim has been filed against Sheriff Tom Dart, and investigations revealed allegations that the paramedics had failed to respond to the emergency calls of the Cook County Jail’s guards. It was also noted that about 90 minutes had passed before Lambert was taken to the hospital, which could have added to the cause of his death. Diagnosis showed that Lambert suffered a severe epidural hematoma and died of blood hemorrhage on July 8, 2007.

Prior investigations revealed that Jamison had initially told the jail investigators that Lambert had sustained his injuries from an ‘accidental’ fall from the top bunk to the floor; however, an inmate witnessed and overheard the conversation Jamison had among his several peers, where he described “he had punched Lambert in the back of the head and ‘beat his brains in.’” The information was taken from a confidential sheriff’s investigative report.

The death of Lambert is just one of the several more cases of brutality and murder, which were cited in a Justice Department report in the previous summer. The report stated that investigations revealed the rampant violence occurring in jail. This calls for a reformation of processes occurring in jails. Moreover, in relation to the disclosed number of violence occurring in jail, the family of the victim raised the question of why their son, John Lambert, who was battling drug addiction and sentenced to only 22-day imprisonment, was housed in a maximum-security division of the jail. They also asked why he had to be brought in with a violent inmate during his prison term, which resulted in his murder.

Judge Timothy Joyce convicted David Jamison for the First-Degree murder of John Lambert on February 6, 2014, and sentenced Jamison to 32-year imprisonment, during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez applauded the Assistant State’s Attorneys Mercedes Luque-Rosales, Edward Maloney, and Melissa Meana, and also commended the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for their collaborative work and effort in the prosecution and investigation of the case.

Updated: July 27, 2020

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