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Oklahoma City father admits killing baby, gets life sentence

BY NOLAN CLAY Published: March 31, 2010
A father who spent time in prison for abusing his baby son is going back for murdering his daughter.

Willis Joe Lambert Jr., 38, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He admitted to police he "just lost it” and violently shook Rachel Lambert when she resisted getting dressed after a bath June 8, according to a court affidavit. The baby’s mother was at a party. Rachel died the next day. She was 6 months old.

Lambert had been released from prison in 2008 after serving nine years for abusing his infant son in 1998, records show. Police reported he placed a rag over his 1-month-old son’s mouth because the boy was crying. Police reported the boy suffered injuries from lack of oxygen.

He had both children with Latrice Sharron Russell, 34. They lived together after his release from prison and she became pregnant again, police reported.

She told her upset relatives he "was a changed person,” police reported.

Lambert accepted the punishment to avoid a possible death sentence at trial.

Russell also is charged with first-degree murder.

Prosecutors allege she is to blame for the death because she left her daughter with Lambert even though he was dangerous. Her trial is set for June. has disabled the comments for this article.