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Posted: April 20, 2013 1:24 p.m.

Lambert takes plea deal in Nichols murder

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Robert Vincent Lambert

One of the men accused of murdering 38-year-old Andrew “Drew” Nichols, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and concealing the death of another Thursday, just days before his trial was scheduled to begin.

Robert Vincent Lambert, 38, is one of four men accused of torturing and murdering Nichols, whose partially buried body was found in late 2009. He was initially charged with murder, concealing the death of another, aggravated battery, possession of arms by a convicted felon, possession of firearms or knife while trying to commit crimes, kidnapping, aggravated assault, probation violation, criminal damage to property in the second degree and arson in the first degree.

In taking a plea to conspiracy to commit murder and concealing the death of another, Lambert received a sentence of 20 years. He will be required to serve 10 of those before being eligible for parole.

“Lambert’s plea is the first administering of justice for Drew Nichols and his family,” said District Attorney Layla Zon. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute the others responsible for the taking of his life and concealment of his death.”

Earlier this month Jennie Nichols Gunning, the sister of the victim, said the family had waited three years for justice and were hoping to find closure.

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