Crime - Sacto 911

Has man accused of murder in test of bulletproof vest gone to trial?

Q: What was the outcome of Elijah Lambert’s murder trial?

Simon Carlo, Sacramento

A: Elijah Ray Lambert, 24, is still in Sacramento County Jail awaiting trial in the death of 19-year-old Miguel Martinez on May 22, 2015.

Lambert allegedly shot Martinez as they and a group of friends were testing a “bulletproof” vest.

Lambert’s trial date has been reset several times. He currently is scheduled for a trial readiness conference on Dec. 28, with a trial set for Jan. 4, according to Sacramento Superior Court records available online.

The shooting occurred about 9:45 p.m. near the river access and bike trail outside of Bannister Park in Fair Oaks. Sacramento County sheriff’s officials said at the time that Martinez’s friends told investigators they got the idea for the stunt from an internet video of a person who was fired on with a .25-caliber handgun while wearing a ballistic vest, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

Martinez reportedly volunteered to don the vest for the test and was wearing it when Lambert fired the gun. After realizing that Martinez had been wounded, his friends called 911.

Sheriff’s officials said Lambert concocted a story claiming that two men tried to rob the group and that the gun accidentally went off during the robbery. Investigators said the story didn’t hold up and Lambert was arrested.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy