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Video shows Gilbert group home murder suspect attacking inmate in jail

11 days after the group home killing in April 2021, MCSO records show Christopher Lambeth allegedly attacked and injured another inmate, seemingly unprovoked.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The video starts with two inmates being walked into a holding cell. It ends with blood on the floor.

In a public records request, the 12News I-Team recently received audio and video of an alleged attack at the Lower Buckeye Jail on April 23, 2021.

In the video, you can see one inmate jump up off of a bench and start punching and kicking another inmate, seemingly out of nowhere. That inmate, accused of throwing the punches, is Christopher Lambeth.

The 12News I-Team has been following Christopher Lambeth's story for more than a year.

RELATED: How one man was convicted of murder and allegedly killed again years later | Locked Inside, a 12 News podcast

He was arrested on April 12, 2021, after he allegedly murdered his housemate, Steven Howells, at the Tilda Manor group home on Wildhorse Drive in Gilbert.

On April 23, 2021, 11 days after the group home killing, MCSO records show that Lambeth and the other inmate in his cell were just released from the mental health unit. The two men were in the process of being transferred from Lower Buckeye Jail to Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix.

There is no audio with the video, but you can see Christopher Lambeth sitting in the holding cell with the other inmate for about 17 minutes before Lambeth allegedly jumps up and starts attacking the other inmate.

The attack went on for about two minutes and 20 seconds before Lambeth lies down, seemingly complying with a guard’s order to stop.

In an audio recording after the attack, the victim told an investigator that he didn't know Christopher Lambeth and that he didn't say anything before he started throwing punches.

Lambeth's history

Before Lambeth was arrested for killing his group home housemate, Lambeth was convicted for the same sort of violence back in 2007, after pleading guilty except insane to killing his grandparents at their home near Tucson.

Instead of going to prison, Lambeth was sentenced to 25 to life at the state hospital for treatment. Records show he got out early and started living in the group home.

In June 2022, the group home lost its license to operate after a state investigation found staff violated rules the morning of the killing by leaving Lambeth alone inside with other residents.

Aftermath of the jail attack

Court records show the other inmate suffered a broken nose in the attack on April 23. 

The investigation report shows Lambeth refused to talk with investigators after the attack. When he later was presented with an incident report, an investigator wrote he looked at the document and simply said, “Guilty.”

Jail records show Lambeth is still being housed at Lower Buckeye Jail on a $2 million bond. 

Christopher Lambeth is charged with assault in this case, and court records show he’ll go to trial for that charge in November, along with the murder charge from the group home killing. He’s pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Lambeth's attorney did not respond to the I-Team's request for comment.


Learn more about other 12News investigations by subscribing to the 12News YouTube channel and watching our I-Team playlist. 

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