Jacksonville man sentenced to prison for murder ‘over $20 of marijuana’

A Jacksonville man who was charged with murder in 2018 was sentenced on Friday more than three years after the crime occurred.

In Onslow County Superior Court, Judge Imelda Pate gave Malcolm Lambert, 24, a minimum sentence of 18 years and maximum of 23 in prison for charges of second-degree murder and discharging a weapon into an occupied property. 

Prosecutor Kelly Neal, senior assistant district attorney, said the crime stemmed from the defendant giving the victim, 27-year-old Leroy Quinn, $20 worth of marijuana five to seven days prior to the shooting under the assumption the debt would be repaid. 

“Twenty dollars – that’s what this whole case came down to,” Neal said after the hearing. “Because of that, the defendant chose to take a firearm and shoot up an apartment complex into the back window of the apartment, and in the process Leroy Quinn lost his life over $20 of marijuana.” 

Related: 27-year-old killed by distant gunshot

According to Neal’s statements in court, on Nov. 16, 2018, the date of the crime, Lambert visited Quinn’s residence at Liberty Crossing Apartments between 4 and 5 p.m. to request the $20 he was owed be paid. The victim appeared at the door with a BB gun, Neal said, and after a verbal argument, shut the door in the defendant’s face.

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