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Judge won’t dismiss charges against Kansas City detective

April 29, 2021 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has rejected a motion to drop felony charges against a Kansas City police detective in the shooting death of a Black man iwho was killed while backing his pickup into his garage.

Eric DeValkenaere, 42, was charged last year with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. He’s accused of shooting Cameron Lamb, 26, on Dec. 3, 2019.

Jackson County Judge David Byrn denied the motion to dismiss charges on Wednesday.

DeValkenaere’s attorneys argued in the motion that the detective did not act recklessly during the confrontation, which is an essential element of involuntary manslaughter, The Kansas City Star reported.

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They contended Lamb created the risks that caused the shooting by speeding through residential streets and pointing a gun at another detective.

Lamb’s relatives have disputed the police department’s version of the shooting.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office said in its motion the court system does not provide a way for a judge to determine before a trial that prosecutors do not have enough evidence to convict. Judges can dismiss indictments, but not for the reasons DeValkenaere’s attorneys raised, prosecutors wrote.

DeValkenaere has been an officer since September 1999 and was assigned to the investigative bureau. He has been suspended.