Deliberations begin at trial of man accused of killing wife, hiding her body in fridge
Jury deliberations will resume Thursday in the case of a man who is accused of killing his wife and stuffing her body in a refrigerator.
Patrick Lambert is representing himself in his murder trial. If convicted, he could spend five to 99 years in prison.
Jurors heard closing arguments Wednesday, beginning with Lambert, who claimed investigators zeroed in on him because he was an easy target.
“This is the final round of the lightweight versus the heavyweight," Lambert said.
Lambert told jurors, "Police and the state attorney chose the wrong possible person and for that reason I ask you to find me not guilty.”
Throughout the trial, which began Tuesday, Judge Brian Warren reminded Lambert of the risk associated with acting as his own attorney. Warren placed two attorneys on standby to help Lambert, in the event he requested assistance.
Prosecutors alleged Lambert killed his wife in a fit of rage, labeling him an abusive, manipulative and controlling husband.
Anastacia "Ana" Oaikhena-Lambert was killed either on or following Sept. 26, 2014.
“She was stabbed in the neck 20 times," said prosecutor Nathan Moss during closing arguments. "You can infer from that that someone was intentionally and knowingly trying to kill her."
Prosecutors strung together a timeline, beginning in February 2014 when Oaikhena-Lambert fled her abusive husband, seeking help at the Houston Area Women's Center, through September when it's alleged Lambert killed her, and Dec 2014 when her body was found in her apartment.
The electricity remained on in the apartment for weeks following Oaikhena-Lambert's death. It wasn't until the electricity was disconnected that neighbors complained of an odor.
Lambert is accused of trying to cover up his actions, fleeing to Mexico with the couple's infant son days after it's alleged he killed her.
"He flees on Sept. 30," Moss said. "He begins living in a small town. Not Mexico City. Not Monterrey, he lives in a small town under an assumed name -- Patricio Jackson."
To the contrary, Lambert said he moved to Mexico to teach.
"There is a small possibility that I killed Oaikhena-Lambert, but why would I? She had my back," Lambert told jurors.
Evidence used in the case against Lambert was circumstantial. Lambert argued that alone proved his innocence. Prosecutors said the evidence, although circumstantial, points directly at Lambert. Key in their case was an email Lambert sent to Ana's job, notifying them she would not return to work because of a family emergency.
“If there was a smoking gun in the case, folks, that’s it. When the defendant tells somebody you’re never going to see her again. He knows she’s dead," Moss said.
Lambert said there were four other people who could have killed his wife, including close friends, but investigators failed to look at them.
"I will find out who killed Ana because apparently the police and the state attorney don't have the resources to conduct a full investigation. I will find out and that is the least I could do for my wife," Lambert said.
The four people Lambert implicated were ruled out as the killer, prosecutors fired back, insisting Lambert was trying to manipulate jurors.
Deliberations will resume at 8 a.m. Thursday.
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