Bail reduced for Kalispell murder suspect

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A Kalispell man accused of murdering his boyfriend in August 2018 had his bail significantly reduced during a Monday morning hearing in Flathead County District Court.

Ryan Cody Lamb, 35, accused of deliberate homicide in the death of 33-year-old Ryan Nixon at a Two Mile Drive apartment complex Aug. 5, 2018, had his bail reduced to $15,000. It had been set at $300,000 after Lamb was charged last year.

Lamb was on trial for the crime in June. The jury deadlocked with it first voting 8-4 for not guilty, then 11-1 for not guilty. Judge Robert Allison then ordered a mistrial.

Allison ordered the bail reduction after the brief hearing.

Nixon’s mother, Linda Nixon, was visibly distressed at the decision.

Lamb’s attorney, Alisha Backus, asked for her client to be released on his own recognizance.

Backus also said Lamb was not a danger to the community and that he has significant ties to the community. She also said that if Lamb were to be bailed out, he would live with his father, Paul, in Whitefish. She also noted he hadn’t been convicted of any prior felonies and that he was indigent, or incapable of raising the necessary money to be bailed out of the Flathead County Jail.

Backus said Lamb has been sober since he was jailed Aug. 5, 2018. She acknowledged that the use of drugs and alcohol played a role in the events that resulted in Nixon’s death.

She also said that while Lamb has some issues, including his sexual identity, he has not been diagnosed with any serious mental-health disorders. She said he would continue treatment for his drug and alcohol issues.

Also included in the case file were several letters from family members and friends supporting his bail reduction.

Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard said she is concerned Lamb’s sobriety has been “forced,” because of his imprisonment.

“I don’t want to find us back here in another case with the same crime,” Howard said.

She also said she expected the prosecution would be filing an amended charge of negligent homicide against Lamb.

Judge Allison said he thought the evidence to convict on the deliberate homicide charge was “thin at best.” He told Howard that if the state was going to amend the charge, it must be done before Lamb’s next court heating on Aug. 7.

Howard said she expects the charge to be amended in the near future.

Lamb is accused of stabbing Nixon three times with a pair of scissors.

According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office website, Lamb was still in custody as of Monday afternoon.

If his bail is posted, Judge Allison said Lamb must not use drugs or alcohol, live with his father at a residence on Prairie View Road, not have any contact with any victims or witnesses who may testify for the state.

Lamb would also have to consent to random alcohol testing and is not allowed to possess any guns.

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

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