Tawanna Lambert is the Columbia, Missouri woman who was charged with child endangerment after she allegedly encouraged her daughter to fight with another girl in her middle school. Court documents reveal that the incident took place almost a year ago, but that Lambert was not arrested until November 30, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lambert Allegedly Told Her Daughter to Fight, Saying, ‘You Better Get Your Licks In’
According to police, Lambert was called in to her daughter’s middle school to discuss an ongoing fight between her daughter and another student at the school. The idea was to calm things down and ease tensions, but it didn’t work out that way. As Lambert and her daughter were leaving the school’s administrative office, they passed the daughter’s enemy. Lambert’s daughter pointed her out, and Lambert allegedly said, “you better get your licks in.”
That’s when Lambert’s daughter ran at the girl and tried to start a fight. School authorities got in between the two girls, and there wasn’t any fight. Authorities then escorted Lambert and her daughter off of school grounds.
2. Lambert Has Been Charged With Misdemeanor Child Endangerment
It is not clear why police waited a year to arrest and charge Tawanna Lambert. The incident at her daughter’s middle school happened last December — but Lambert wasn’t charged until November 30 of this year. That’s when the prosecutor in the case, assistant District Attorney Jessica Page, sued a warrant and announced charges in the case.
3. Lambert Has a Long List of Previous Arrests, Including Multiple Charges of ‘Adult Stalking’
Over the years, Lambert has been accused of “adult abuse” at least four times. That’s the number of times that someone has applied to get a protection order against Lambert. The first time someone filed for a protection order against Lambert was in 2004, when Lambert was 22.
Lambert has a strong of other cases on her record. She was accused of breach of contract by Ch Allied Services, which is a hospital in Boone County, Missouri. She’s also been charged with a number of criminal infractions.
4. Lambert Is a Single Mother Who Was Awarded Sole Custody of her Children
Court filings reveal that Lambert has two children. She split up with the children’s father and the two went through a court-backed mediation process to decide on custody of their children. Lambert was awarded full custody of the children and their father, Joshua Hatten, was ordered to provide health insurance for the children and pay monthly child support.
The children’s names have been kept out of the press, out of respect for their privacy. Lambert has been charged with misdemeanor child endangerment for allegedly encouraging her daughter to fight with another girl at her middle school.
5. Prosecutors Waited Almost a Year Before Charging Lambert in the Child Endangerment Case
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Paige filed a warrant against Lambert on November 30, charging her with one count of endangerment of a child in the second degree. The incident that Lambert is being charged with took place back on December 13, 2017.
It was not immediately clear why prosecutors waited so long before charging Lambert in the case. Local media said that the DA’s office refused to comment when asked to explain the long delay.