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Conviction Overturned for Former Model Accused of Hiring Hitman to Kill Husband's Ex and Put Her Body in a Wood Chipper

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Tara Lambert
Trish Bennett/Pickaway News Journal

An appeals judge in Ohio has reversed the 2016 conviction of a former model who allegedly tried hiring a hitman to kill her husband’s ex-wife — and the woman’s attorney tells PEOPLE she will be released from prison today.

Tara Lambert, 34, will be freed from the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, where she has spent the last year after jurors convicted her of first-degree felony charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Attorney Sam Shamansky, who represented Lambert in her appeal, confirms to PEOPLE his client’s conviction was overturned on Tuesday. Lambert had been sentenced to serve 7 years.

The judge tossed Lambert’s conviction in light of an error made in the language of the indictment. Because of this misstep, the case against Lambert should never have proceeded, the judge ruled.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, a conspiracy to commit aggravated murder charge requires prosecutors to state a specific “overt act” Lambert committed to make this happen.

“Did she buy a gun, for example? The prosecutor had to spell out exactly what that underlying overt act was that contributed here,” Shamansky told the paper.

Trish Bennett/Pickaway News Journal
Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
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It was unclear Friday if Pickaway County Prosecutor Judy Wolford plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision, as she could not be reached for comment. But Shamansky says he anticipates an appeal will be forthcoming and that the prosecution will move to re-indict Lambert.

“Tara will get another bite at the apple with new counsel,” says Shamansky, adding he filed a malpractice lawsuit against Kingsley on his client’s behalf six weeks ago.

Kingsley, who has countersued Shamansky, could not be reached for comment.

Trish Bennett/Pickaway News Journal
Trish Bennett/Pickaway News Journal

 

According to investigators, Lambert met with an undercover cop posing as a hired killer and provided the cop with a down payment and a picture of her stepchildren’s mother.

During her conversations with the undercover officer, she allegedly suggested using a wood chipper to dispose of the remains.

Lambert’s husband has two daughters with his ex-wife. The two would argue over custody issues, records show.

Jurors acquitted Lambert of attempting to commission the murder of the ex-wife’s husband.

Lambert’s lawsuit seeks $25,000 in damages.