Tabitha Buck was seventeen years old when she and Lisa Michelle Lambert would murder a classmate, Laurie Show. According to court documents Lisa Michelle Lambert saw the teenage girl as a romantic rival so she and Tabitha Buck would be driven to the Show residence where the teenage girl had her throat slit and would be stabbed multiple times. Tabitha Buck and Lisa Michelle Lambert were convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. However this teen killer sentence would later be reduced due to her age when the murder occurred. Buck is scheduled to be released in December 2019. Lisa Michelle Lambert was nineteen at the time of the murder and remains in prison
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After 28 years behind bars, Tabitha Buck, a midstate woman who was 17 when she killed a high school classmate is slated for release on Dec. 21.
That freedom date was set in August when Buck, now 45, was granted parole by the state.
Buck originally was sentenced to life in prison for the Dec. 20, 1991 murder of 16-year-old Laurie Show in Lancaster County’s Lampeter Township.
Investigators said Buck and then-19-year-old Lisa Michelle Lambert stabbed Show and slit her throat. Show’s mother found her dying daughter, who was able to identify her killers. Police said Lambert saw Show as a romantic rival.
Buck’s chance for freedom came via a 2012 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that nixed automatic life prison terms for juveniles convicted of murder. Under that mandate, a county judge re-sentenced Buck to 28 years to life in prison in 2017.
Lambert wasn’t a juvenile when the murder occurred and so is serving a life prison term without parole, although she continues to fight her conviction. Her boyfriend, Lawrence Yunkin, who drove the killers to Show’s house, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison and was paroled in 2004.
District Attorney Craig Stedman, who will become a county judge in January, did not greet the prospect of Buck’s release with enthusiasm.
“The resentencings of juvenile murderers has been one of the most difficult and gut-wrenching tasks we have ever had to handle,” Stedman said in a statement. “Our system told victims’ families their case was over, and in many cases, for decades.”
The courts ruled and we follow the law, but that in no way diminishes the added emotional trauma this process has caused to those who have already suffered,” he said. “Most of all, we must remember the innocent victims, whose lives were taken, have no ability to appeal or receive a new sentence.”
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