Detective: Suspect changed story

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  • Kalispell Police Department Detective Jim Wardensky in Flathead County District Court on Friday, June 7, testifying for the prosecution in the trail of Ryan Cody Lamb. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

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    County Attorney Travis Ahner, right, confers with Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard during a break in the Ryan Cody Lamb trial on Friday, June 7. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Ryan Cody Lamb with his defense team on Friday, June 7, at the Flathead County District Court. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

  • Kalispell Police Department Detective Jim Wardensky in Flathead County District Court on Friday, June 7, testifying for the prosecution in the trail of Ryan Cody Lamb. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

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    County Attorney Travis Ahner, right, confers with Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard during a break in the Ryan Cody Lamb trial on Friday, June 7. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Ryan Cody Lamb with his defense team on Friday, June 7, at the Flathead County District Court. Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide after being accused of stabbing his partner Ryan Nixon on Aug. 5, 2018.(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

A Kalispell man accused of murdering his boyfriend with a pair of scissors last summer said he was afraid for them to be used on him during a sexual encounter.

Ryan Cody Lamb, 35, is on trial for the deliberate homicide of Ryan Nixon at a Two Mile Drive apartment in August 2018.

Kalispell Police Department Detective Capt. Jim Wardensky testified at length during the fifth day of the trial Friday in Flathead County District Court. His testimony dealt with the several hours he spoke with Lamb in the booking area of the Kalispell Police Department on Sunday, Aug. 5.

In conjunction with Wardensky’s testimony were video clips from a surveillance camera that bore witness to their conversations, Lamb’s phone conversations with family members and others and the time he was alone. Some of it was unintelligible to some courtroom observers, but the transcripts provided a fairly stark look at Lamb’s mindset in the hours following Nixon’s death.

Wardensky and Lamb talked about the fresh scratches on his chest.

“He was poking me with a fork, it got harder and harder and he hit me in the nipple and it hurt me,” Lamb said. “He wanted to use the scissors on me, but I was too scared.

“It was consensual, but taken to extremes,” Lamb added.

Wardensky also detailed another conversation with the defendant.

“When I told him ‘If it was an accident, it could be understood,’ he said, ‘It wasn’t an accident.’”

Wardensky also said Lamb eventually said he stabbed Nixon in “the side, in his belly fat, in a safe place.”

The veteran KPD officer also testified that when Lamb learned the police had exterior video footage of the apartment complex that put Lamb at the scene at the time of the murder, the accused allegedly said “it was only a side view.”

Public defender Alisha Backus, in her cross examination, got Wardensky to say that Lamb knew it was a side view because it was told to him by police.

Wardensky spoke of yet another conversation between the two men.

“If it was an accident, or he fell, can you still charge me with a murder?” Lamb allegedly asked Wardensky.

The detective responded “I know there’s more to it, I know there’s a legitimate love between the two of you.”

Lamb was heard speaking with his sister, Erin, on the phone from the booking room when he said “I (expletive) lost him when I went for help. I shoulda stayed there.”

Wardensky said Lamb gave different stories about what happened that night.

In one version, Wardensky said Lamb told him after he and Nixon left the bar where they worked, they went to a casino, then to a gas station for food and drink, back to the casino before both men left and went in opposite directions.

Lamb said when he went to the apartment, he saw blood on the landing outside the door, which was ajar, took his shoes off and saw Nixon against a wall with a pair of scissors in his stomach. Lamb said Nixon said he was OK, but asked Lamb to go get help.

Lamb said he went to a nearby gas station and called North Valley Hospital in an attempt to find his parents, but a nurse there told him they no longer worked there and that he should call 911.

Lamb said he returned to the apartment and found Nixon unresponsive in the shower before getting a phone and calling 911.

Wardensky said Lamb repeated that version often, but he made no mention of a stop that he and Nixon made at an area bar before going to the casino.

Prior testimony by other witnesses and video footage indicated Lamb had left the apartment and went to a nearby gas station to make a call for help.

In one video clip, Lamb said “He’s dead, I pulled the scissors out, he (Nixon) said ‘Go get help.’”

Backus also worked to establish the time line of when Lamb bought food and drinks from a nearby gas station convenience store and when he and Nixon left a casino.

A receipt from the store was dated at 1:36 a.m. Photos of the apartment showed items that matched what was on the receipt, including doughnuts and beef jerky.

More video footage at 1:55 a.m. showed Nixon and Lamb both leaving a casino, also in the neighborhood, and each going in opposite directions.

Wardensky agreed with Backus’ assertion that it corroborated Lamb’s statement to police.

Testimony is expected to resume at 9 a.m. Monday.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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