William Lembcke was sixteen years old when he killed his entire family in December 2000. According to court documents William Lembcke was caught videotaping his sister changing by his father and he grabbed a gun and murdered his parents and two siblings.
After the murders William Lembcke would put the bodies of family into a truck and would throw them out later in a ditch. After police began to investigate this teen killer was soon arrested and charged with the four murders. William Lembcke was sentenced to life in prison without parole
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A teenager convicted of killing four members of his family was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without parole. William Lembcke, 16, was convicted earlier yesterday of four counts of aggravated-first-degree murder in the Christmas-week shooting deaths of his parents, his 18-year-old sister and his 11-year-old brother. Jurors deliberated less than two hours. Stevens County Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson called Lembcke “a monster” as he handed down the sentence.
The only penalties for aggravated murder are life in prison without parole or execution, but state law does not allow execution of people under 18. Kristianson also assessed Lembcke more than $15,500 in lawyer fees and court costs. The bodies of Robert and Diana Lembcke and their children, Jolene and Wesley, were found along a rural road days after the shooting at the family home in Addy, about 60 miles north of Spokane. Lembcke admitted sexually molesting his sister’s body, police testified. At the courthouse yesterday, family members — including the defendant’s only surviving sibling, 24-year-old Clinton Lembcke, who was not at home when the shootings occurred last Dec. 23 — broke down in tears when the verdict was read.
William Lembcke showed little emotion during most of the proceedings. But he sobbed openly during the sentencing process when an aunt, Pamela Ham, told him — and the court — that he’d had a loving mother and hard-working father and didn’t know what he’d given up. Relatives would not talk to reporters afterward. Deputy County Prosecutor David Bruneau called the verdict and sentence gratifying. He criticized defense attempts to portray Lembcke as mentally ill. “When you have a defendant whose back’s against the wall, it’s not unusual for them to resort to this sort of defense,” he told reporters. “You just hope the jury has the sense to see it for what it really is, and that is a bunch of rubbish.”
Defense lawyer Patty St. Clair said it is a tragedy to send a juvenile into the adult prison system. She said Lembcke wanted his family to know that he was sorry, and added that he has been emotionally distraught every time she has visited him in jail. The defense sought conviction on the lesser charge of second-degree murder, arguing that Lembcke suffered diminished mental capacity at the time of the murders. In closing arguments, Bruneau characterized the teen as a selfish, cold-blooded killer who spent the days after the attack partying with friends.
Defense lawyer Paul Wasson urged conviction on the lesser charge of second-degree murder, saying Lembcke was a troubled teen from a dysfunctional family. Wasson relied heavily on testimony from the key defense witness, psychiatrist Dr. Alan Unis, who attributed the teen’s mental state to a traumatic childhood. Bruneau said Lembcke’s actions showed premeditation — loading a semiautomatic rifle and lying in wait while his father showered and retrieving a different weapon to kill his mother, who used a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis.
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William Lembcke is a troubled child who was tormented by a dysfunctional home life, his attorney told jurors as trial began Monday for the teen-ager accused of killing four family members.
A quick succession of witnesses – including an older brother – testified after the jury heard opening statements in the trial that is expected to last a week.
Lembcke, 16, faces four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his parents, older sister and 11-year-old brother Dec. 23.
If convicted, Lembcke will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. State law doesn’t allow people younger than 18 to be executed.
Court documents indicated the killings occurred after a confrontation over Lembcke’s secret videotaping of his 18-year-old sister in the shower.
Lembcke’s court-appointed lawyer, Patty St. Clair, said Lembcke committed the crimes, but asked the jury to reach a lesser verdict of second-degree murder because of his mental state.
St. Clair said an expert psychologist would testify Lembcke suffered from a “dissociated state with diminished mental capacity” at the time of the killings.
Prosecutors told the jury Lembcke carefully planned the Dec. 23 murders and spent the following days hiding the bodies, partying and playing Nintendo with friends.
Older brother Clint, 24, told the jury that William lied to him and other family members about the murders before his arrest. Clint was not living in the family’s home at the time of the killings.
Deputy Stevens County Prosecutor David Bruneau alleges Lembcke tried to cover up the crimes by painting over bloodstains and claiming the victims were visiting a sick relative in California.
Defense attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have Lembcke’s confession and most of the evidence against him thrown out on grounds that he was mentally incompetent when he consented to searches and admitted guilt.
Prosecutors contend Lembcke had been disciplined the night before the slayings for secretly videotaping sister, Jolene, while she undressed and showered.
Lembcke told authorities he shot his sister, 11-year-old brother Wesley and parents Robert and Diana because his father yelled at him for not helping gather firewood.
Although Lembcke apparently didn’t tell detectives about the dispute over the videotape, court documents say he admitted having sex with his sister after killing her.
Her body was nude from the waist down when sheriff’s deputies found it in a roadside ditch with the other victims, following directions William Lembcke reportedly gave after confessing
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William Lembcke is serving life without parole