Public defender Aaron J. Stoll asked the jury to forget the angry texts Alisha Lampkin sent to Tonisha Richardson and her boyfriend.
Stoll wanted them to forget the curse words she used and the threats she made as in “I'll be nice and spare her life a bit longer,” a text Deputy Prosecutor Tesa Helge said was passed on to law enforcement.
Stoll wanted the jury to think Lampkin was punched in the face and acted in self defense.
But after closing arguments Thursday, the jury didn't buy Stoll's narrative and found Lampkin guilty of murder in the stabbing death of Richardson, 25, the girlfriend of the man Lampkin had a child with more than five years ago. Lampkin now faces 45 to 65 years in prison.
Wearing a face mask, Lampkin, 27 at the time of the stabbing, sat stoically as the guilty verdict was read while numerous family members of Richardson took deep breaths of relief and fought back tears.
“It's a blessing,” Terri Barnes, Richardson's mother, said just outside the courtroom as she spread her arms wide for a hug. Barnes, seated in a wheelchair, held Helge and whispered her thanks.
Richardson's father, Anthony “Tony” Richardson, bent over in the back of the courtroom and grasped his knees before standing back up to release more emotion. Then he went up to the rail in Superior Court Judge David Zent's courtroom to shake homicide detective Luke MacDonald's hand.
The family lost their daughter Feb. 25, 2020, when Lampkin stabbed Richardson about 1 p.m. in the parking lot outside the apartment Richardson and her boyfriend shared at Shoaff Park Villas.
The boyfriend told Richardson to stay inside, but when he turned away to take a shower, Richardson rushed outside. The two women were locked in a fight that led to the stabbing, court documents said. Richardson died from a wound to the neck between 2 inches and 2 1/2 inches deep.
The bloody knife blade was found in the parking lot; the handle on the sidewalk, court documents said.
Although Stoll told the jury that Lampkin's primary motive was to get the boyfriend to come outside, Lampkin also called Richardson at 12:44 p.m., a call that was answered. The next call to Richardson at 12:45 p.m. went unanswered. At 12:49 p.m. 911 was called, Helge said Thursday.
Lampkin said Richardson came at her and she was scared and went for a knife she kept in the center console of her car.
Stoll asked the jury to confine its attention to the “moment of confrontation,” and exclude any presumptions the jury might make about Lampkin's character or whether they liked her.
But Helge told the jury to reject any notion of self defense, reading Lampkin's own words about the incident: “All because that stupid (expletive) decided to commit suicide by running up on me,” and the fact that Lampkin admitted to homicide detective Donald Lewis that she stabbed Richardson.
“You can't just engage in a fight with somebody,” and call it self-defense, Helge said. “There has to be serious bodily injury. You can't just get away with it.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 8.