Tabitha Buck was 17 when she sat on 16-year-old Laurie Show’s legs while Lisa Michelle Lambert slashed Show’s throat in Show's East Lampeter Township home on Dec. 20, 1991.
After almost 28 years in prison, the 45-year-old inmate at SCI Muncy in northeastern Pennsylvania could be released by Christmas.
The state Board of Probation and Parole granted Buck parole in August and listed her earliest release date as Dec. 21.
As part of her terms of release, Buck, whose name also appears as Tabatha Buck in documents over the years since her arrest, cannot reside or travel in Lancaster County, must avoid any contact with Show’s family and must take psychiatric medication as prescribed by her doctor, according to the board’s decision.
Buck met with two “decision-makers” in early August who comprised of a larger nine-member board who later granted parole, according to Laura Treaster, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
The vote, deliberations and rationale for the conditions for Buck’s parole are confidential to her case file, Treaster added.
According to the notice of the board’s decision, some of the reasons listed for granting Buck parole include:
- “Your positive institutional behavior.”
- “The positive recommendation made by the department of corrections.”
- “Your demonstrated motivation for success.”
- “Your acceptance of responsibility for the offense(s) committed.”
- “Your stated remorse for the offense(s) committed.”
Contacted by email Tuesday, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Buck’s resentencing and others like it in recent years have been “gut-wrenching,” especially for the victims’ families, who were led to believe — sometimes for decades — that their cases were over.
“The courts ruled and we follow the law, but that in no way diminishes the added emotional trauma this process has caused to those who have already suffered,” Stedman wrote, adding, “Most of all, we must remember the innocent victims, whose lives were taken, have no ability to appeal or receive a new sentence.”
Buck was initially sentenced to life without the possibility of parole but was resentenced in November 2017 to 28 years to life by Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders could constitute cruel and unusual punishments.
Lambert, who was 18 when she killed Show, is serving a life sentence.
According to testimony that led to Lambert’s and Buck’s convictions, they were driven by Lawrence Yunkin to the East Lampeter Township condominium Show shared with her mother on the morning of the murder.
Yunkin, who was 19 when Show was killed, was Lambert’s boyfriend, and she allegedly viewed Show as a rival for his affections.
Show’s mother had been lured from the home by a faked phone call that led her to believe she had a meeting with her daughter’s guidance counselor.
Yunkin remained with the car, according to testimony, while the two women burst inside and murdered Show.
Yunkin pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for his involvement and was paroled from prison in August 2004 after serving nearly 12 years.
Attempts to reach parents for both Buck and Show were unsuccessful or unreturned Tuesday. The last listed attorney for Buck also did not respond to a call from LNP seeking comment Tuesday.