CLINTON — Clinton police have made an arrest in connection with the March 5, 2017, stabbing deaths of 59-year-old Kevin Lambert and 61-year-old Steven Cox.
Steve Armsted, 48, of Clinton is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. The charge is a Class A felony under Iowa law that carries an automatic life term in prison upon conviction.
Clinton Police Chief Kevin Gyrion said that Armsted’s arrest closes an 18-month investigation involving the Clinton Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Medical Examiner, the Clinton County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Attorney General.
Authorities were able to make their case in part on video footage from homes in the area of Lambert’s house at 114 N. 5th St.
According to the arrest affidavit filed in Clinton County District Court, Clinton police detectives were able to show portions of the video to people at River City Brewing Company in Clinton, where Lambert is said to have spent time. Armsted was identified by people at the business as “Mississippi” since he originally is from Natchez, Mississippi.
From there, the investigation blossomed.
Authorities found the large kitchen knife used to kill Lambert and Cox in a plastic city garbage container one block southwest of the home where Lambert and Cox lived and nine houses west of where Armsted was found by police at 508 2nd Ave. S. The DNA profiles on the blade came back as positive matches to Lambert and Cox.
The videos police watched show that Lambert was alive in the early hours of March 5, a Sunday.
On Monday, March 6, Marissa Kilgore, a friend of Lambert’s, went to check on him because he was not answering his phone. According to the arrest affidavit, Kilgore entered the home through an unlocked back door and found Lambert sitting in a chair unresponsive. She then called a friend and, suspecting more was wrong, called 911 at 3:08 p.m.
When officers arrived, they found Lambert and Cox dead. Each had been killed by single stab wound to the chest, according to the arrest affidavits.
According to the arrest affidavits, Armsted told a female friend that he needed to leave town because he was in serious trouble. The woman told police that Armsted said if he were caught he would go to jail for the rest of his life. The woman, who also is from Natchez, Mississippi, told detectives that Armsted was a knife person and that he was very good at handling knives.
Armsted was being held Friday night without bond in the Clinton County Jail.
He had been serving a 10-year-prison sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison after a Clinton County Jury convicted him on June 28, 2017, on one count of willful injury causing serious injury. That case stemmed from an incident on March 2, 2015, when Armsted struck another man in the face with a meat cleaver during an altercation.