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Man sentenced after murder over $20 loan

By Lucy Nelson and Annette Weston

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    JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County, North Carolina (WLOS) — Prosecutors said a dispute over $20 in Jacksonville in 2018 led to the shooting death of one man and a sentence of 18-23 years in prison for another.

Prosecutors said that Malcomb Lambert went to Leroy Quinn’s apartment in November 2018, demanding to be repaid the money he had loaned the other man about a week earlier.

Witnesses said the two men argued and Lambert returned later and fired four shots into the apartment, one of which hit Quinn, killing him.

Kelly Neal, Senior Assistant District Attorney for Onslow County, read for the court a victim impact statement from Quinn’s mother, Shirley Quinn.

“I would appreciate it very much if Malcolm Lambert, the man who murdered my son, my one and only child, would stay behind bars for the rest of his life. But I know we don’t always get what we deserve sometimes,” the letter read, “I forgive him for what he has done, and I pray that God forgives him also. I’m glad the legal part is getting behind my family.”

The letter continued, “It would help if Malcolm would help with the funeral costs.” Funeral/restitution costs came to $4,336.65.

Lambert entered an Alford plea, which recognizes that there is likely enough evidence for a conviction but is not an admission of guilt, to second-degree murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied property; District Attorney Ernie Lee, in exchange. agreed to dismiss the first-degree murder charge and recommended Lambert be sentenced to between serve between 18 and 23 years in prison.

“It makes no sense that someone would actually kill someone over $20,” said Lee, “But that’s what happened. And it’s played out repeatedly not only in this state but in this nation on a yearly basis. And it’s just absolutely ridiculous as if people have no regard for human life.”

Lee said he thinks the plea deal was reasonable.

“I think this was a very good plea for both sides. I think it was a good closure to both families. At least some amount of closure,” he said.

He noted he still has 41 defendants charged with first-degree murder in the four-county district, many of which have been delayed because of COVID-related court shutdowns.

“We have a lot of cases still to work on. I’m just glad this case was taken care of today,” said Lee.

The murder case is that of James Moore, who is charged with murdering 22-year-old Shelby Brown.

Moore will see his day in court on February 7, 2022.

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