News & Features

Victim’s Mother: ‘Did Ryan Lamb Kill Him?’

Jury in murder trial watched video of crime scene investigation, heard from responding officers on second day of testimony

When Lynn Nixon learned of an emergency at her son’s Kalispell apartment early on the morning of Aug. 5, 2018, she immediately began the 90-minute journey from her home in Libby. When she arrived shortly after dawn at the apartment where her son, Ryan Nixon, lived she quickly tracked down an officer to ask the question tormenting her the entire drive.

“Is he alright?” she asked the officer about her son.

“He has been checked out by medical,” the officer told her.

“You didn’t answer my question,” she asked again. “Is he alright?”

“He is not,” the officer said. “He died.”

“Oh God no,” Lynn Nixon screamed. “Did Ryan Lamb kill him?”

On Tuesday, the second day of the Ryan Lamb murder trial, the jury heard testimony from the detectives who investigated the August 2018 death of Ryan Nixon and saw body camera footage of when his mother learned that her son was dead.

Lamb has been charged with felony deliberate homicide in the death of Nixon, his partner of three years. Prosecutors have said they plan to present evidence that shows Lamb was an abusive partner. According to charging documents and testimony, Lamb stabbed Nixon three times in the torso with a pair of scissors during sex.

But the defense is painting a different picture and has said it was Nixon who was the abusive one and that Lamb stabbed his partner in self-defense.

On Tuesday, County Attorney Travis Ahner and Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard questioned nearly a dozen Kalispell Police Department officers and paramedics about what they saw at the apartment on Two Mile Drive where Lamb and Nixon lived. Officers said when they arrived they found blood inside and outside of the apartment. Nixon’s body was discovered in the shower with water running, washing additional blood down the drain.

Detectives took numerous photos of the scene and collected a number of pieces of evidence including two pairs of scissors, one of which appeared to have blood on the shears, as well as a knife that was discovered in the tub next to Nixon’s body.

Officers and detectives also talked about their interactions with Lamb following the incident on Two Mile Drive, both at the scene and at the police station, where the defendant was detained for approximately 11 hours, all of which was recorded on video. Officers said that during those interactions, Lamb gave different versions of the events of Aug. 4 and 5, including one where he said he saw Lamb’s ex-boyfriend fighting the victim. However, cross-examination revealed that there was confusion about whether Lamb was speaking about the Aug. 5 incident or a previous one.

Testimony will continue on Wednesday.

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