“We got justice for her.” Mother of shooting victim speaks after sentencing

62 year-old Rickey Lamb sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole.

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – Waves of emotions and mixed feelings.

“It’s been really rough on the whole family,” says Mary Jo Curtis. “I think he deserved a bit more.”

On June 17th, 2019, Mary Jo Curtis’ daughter Sarah Tyminski was killed in Newton County, shot by her boyfriend’s father Rickey Lamb.

“Nobody should ever have to lose a child. Nobody should ever have to bury their child. That’s not the right order,” says Curtis.

Lamb was arrested for the shooting shortly after. But ever since that happened, Curtis says things have been taking forever.

“Sarah was gone in a second. And Mr. Lamb was able to drag things on for two years,” says Curtis.

Newton County Prosecuting Attorney William Lynch came into office in February 2020. Lynch says he hit the ground running, making this case a top priority.

“It was a priority for me to familiarize myself with the case and to make sure I knew all the parties involved and to make contact with the victims pretty early on,” says Lynch. “It’s always a priority to establish repour with victims in any case. There’s certainly a heightened sense of that when it’s a murder case, and making sure that those families know that we appreciate what they’re going through.”

Lamb was originally charged with first-degree murder, which would have carried a life sentence without parole, and Lynch was pushing for that. But in April 2021, Lamb pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

“We amended it down to murder in the second degree given some factual issues that were in the case, and to get it pled to the certain outcome that he’s convicted of murder,” explains Lynch.

“Mr. Lynch wanted to have my granddaughter face him (Lamb). And my granddaughter was not ready for that. And I wasn’t gonna make her face him in court. So, second-degree murder,” says Curtis.

Lamb was then sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Sentencing was on June 17th, 2021 — exactly two years, to the day, after he shot and killed Tyminski.

“When they told me that that was gonna be the sentencing date it was… like surreal. Marks two years since he killed her. And two years since I last spoke to her,” says Curtis.

Curtis says the sentencing doesn’t quite feel like closure and doesn’t make it much easier. But, at least her family can finally start to move forward.

“I wouldn’t call it easier. But it’s one less thing I have to worry about or think about. Worried… ‘When is he gonna get in trouble for this? When is he finally gonna go to prison?'” says Curtis. “It doesn’t bring her back. Never will. At least he got punished for it.”

Curtis explains she was just awarded custody of Tyminski’s daughters. So she’s taking them back to Michigan with her so that they can start fresh.

Message to abuse victims

Curtis explains that Tyminski tried to leave Lamb’s son Chris because he was abusive. Curtis says she had purchased plane tickets for Sarah and the kids weeks before the shooting, but Chris wouldn’t let the kids leave. And Sarah wasn’t going to go without them.

“Sarah was trying to get out of that relationship a long time ago,” says Curtis. “Even though it wasn’t her abuser that killed her, it was part of that cycle of abuse. So, if there’s anyone, male or female, that’s in an abusive relationship, please try to get out before something like this happens.”

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