CIRCLEVILLE - The Ohio Supreme Court will be the next stop for the case of a local woman whose conviction in a murder-for-hire plot last year was recently overturned on appeal.
Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor, said they will be appealing the Fourth District Court of Appeals' decision to reverse the conviction of Tara J. Lambert to the state's highest court.
In the meantime, Lambert, 34, has been released from state prison after serving more than one year of her seven-year sentence for conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.
"We will be submitting a jurisdictional brief asking the Ohio Supreme Court to take the case for review," Wolford said. "If they take it, we would be writing briefs and presenting oral arguments to have the conviction reinstated."
In that event, Lambert would be taken back into custody and returned to state prison to finish out the remainder of her previous sentence, Wolford said.
The Ohio Supreme Court could decline to hear the case, however, and Wolford said prosecutors are prepared for that scenario as well.
"If they don't, we will still have the option to reindict her on the charges and take the case back to trial," she said.
Realistically, Wolford said the process could take a couple of years to complete.
Lambert was arrested July 28, 2015, by detectives from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office on charges that she attempted to hire an undercover Franklin County deputy posing as a hit man to kill Kellie Cooke, her husband's ex-wife.
In January 2016, Lambert was convicted by a jury in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court and sentenced the following month to spend seven years behind bars for the crime.
Lambert was released from the Marysville Reformatory for Women after the Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed the decision in a document filed June 6, citing insufficient wording in her indictment by the Pickaway County Grand Jury that nullified the conviction and prison sentence.