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Carlsbad man’s murder conviction upheld by high court

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Robert Earley
Robert Earley

The New Mexico Supreme Court announced Thursday afternoon it had affirmed the murder conviction of a Carlsbad man in prison for the 2014 killing of his girlfriend.

Attorney General Hector Balderas stated the court had agreed with the Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division that the first-degree murder, kidnapping, and tampering with evidence conviction of Robert Earley, 35, was supported by the evidence and that Earley’s statements to police were properly admitted at trial. Earley had appealed his conviction, alleging errors during his trial.

Earley was convicted in 2014 of the murder of his girlfriend, 30-year-old Emily Lambert. Lambert, a teacher living in Garland, Texas, had travelled to Carlsbad in early March 2014 to visit Earley, whom she had been dating for a few months.

An argument between the two at a Carlsbad motel escalated into a physical

Emily Lambert
Emily Lambert

altercation. According to a police affidavit, Earley told investigators he knocked Lambert unconscious and drove her to a rural area in Loving, where he struck her with an air pump, then used a rope and his vehicle to drag her behind a barn.

Lambert’s body was located March 4, 2014, behind a sheet metal barn on the property of a Loving ranch.

At the time, Lambert was in the process of completing her first year as a first-grade math and science teacher in Garland. She left behind two young daughters.

“This brutal abuse and extreme violence against a woman is unspeakable,” said Balderas. “I am thankful for the hard work of the district attorney on this case and that the supreme court agreed with our office in upholding Earley’s conviction.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Lambert’s family and the Eddy County community.”

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