Linda Sibley couldn’t get over how young her grandson looked as he sat before a jury Tuesday.
Tyler Lampe — a slightly built 20-year-old with a boyish face — looked more like a 12-year-old than a full-grown man, she said.
Lampe’s two-day trial for a March shooting ended early Tuesday afternoon with a guilty verdict after a Clinton County jury deliberated for a little more than an hour.
The Clinton woman who said Lampe had addressed her lovingly as “Granny” sat through both days of the trial, along with Lampe’s mother, sister and girlfriend. There were tears in Sibley’s eyes after phone calls laced with profanity and incriminating statements — placed by Lampe to his mother and another individual after the shooting — were played for the jury.
“I’ve never been through anything like this before, and I never want to again,” Sibley said during a break from proceedings, struggling to get the words out as her voice shook. “I don’t know why he would do something so stupid.”
Lampe’s prior criminal record in Clinton County contains about 10 convictions for misdemeanor crimes. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the Class C felony conviction of intimidation with a dangerous weapon stemming from the shooting.
Neighbors who were in their apartments or outside doing yardwork the afternoon of March 11 testified they saw Lampe fire a handgun three times as he ran after a Pontiac Grand Prix tearing out of the gravel parking lot of his Clinton apartment complex at 1850 Glendale Road.
Lampe’s court-appointed attorney, Nathan Tucker, said in his closing argument to the jury Tuesday that one of the occupants of the Pontiac, Kenard Lewis, may have sparked the shooting by stealing from Lampe.
Fulton, Ill., teens Amanda Schmitz and Danelle Domdey went with Lewis to the apartment complex, although Schmitz said she waited outside in the stairwell as Lewis went into Lampe’s apartment, and Domdey testified that she waited in her car.
Court records indicate that Schmitz arranged for Domdey to drive the three to Lampe’s apartment in order for Lewis to purchase marijuana, and further state that drugs may have been stolen from Lampe. Testimony related to the drugs was not introduced at the trial.
“We don’t know what occurred inside that apartment building,” Tucker told the jury. “But we do know that Tyler was robbed ... We don’t know the entire story.”
Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf remarked in a rebuttal that the possibility of a theft from Lampe did not supply grounds for the shooting.
“Even if that was the case, no one is justified in doing that,” he said.
Wolf built his case against Lampe on eyewitness testimony after a judge ruled late last month to remove from evidence the handgun suspected to have been used in the shooting and statements Lampe made to police at the scene of the shooting. The judge ruled that Lampe’s rights were violated since police did not Mirandize him until after he directed them to a handgun hidden under a futon cushion in a neighbor’s apartment.
Wolf said after the jury’s verdict Tuesday that he felt the officers on the shooting scene “did a fine job,” and added that they believed they were acting under an exception to Miranda law that allows police to eliminate a potential threat to public safety before reading a suspect his or her rights.
“My only concern was filling in the gaps that were left in evidence,” Wolf said of the trial. “I thought that the witnesses were compelling.”
Lampe’s sentencing is set for July 29 in Clinton County.