PHILADELPHIA -- For a second time, a federal judge has ordered the release of a woman convicted of killing a girl who briefly dated her ex-boyfriend in a case that was later made into a television movie.
It was not immediately clear whether the ruling would free Lisa Michelle Lambert, now 29, who was convicted in 1992 of slaying 16-year-old Laurie Show with the help of two friends.
U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell repeated a ruling he made four years ago that found Lambert innocent. He said Lambert was the victim of "wholesale prosecutorial misconduct."
"Virtually all of the evidence which the commonwealth used to convict ... was either perjured, altered or fabricated," Dalzell wrote in his decision, issued Wednesday.
Prosecutors on Friday vowed an immediate appeal, and said they would ask that the case be assigned to a new judge.
"Attorney General Mike Fisher will do everything in his power to keep this cold-blooded killer behind bars for the rest of her life," said Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Fisher.
Lambert's attorneys were out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
Lambert was freed after Dalzell's first ruling in 1997, but was returned to prison a year later following a ruling by a federal appeals court.
Prosecutors charge that Lambert, angry that Show had been romantically involved with her ex-boyfriend, stalked, intimidated and murdered her. Lambert's two alleged accomplices -- including the ex-boyfriend -- were convicted and are still in prison.
Lambert's trial was highly publicized and the story was the basis for the USA Network movie "The Stalking of Laurie Show."
In March, Lambert lost her bid to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and appeared to have run out of avenues for appeal.
Dalzell said none of those previous decisions kept him from again ordering Lambert's release.
Dalzell also refused prosecutors' request that he remove himself from the case.
Dalzell said in his ruling that none of those decisions barred him from again ordering Lambert's release. He gave attorneys until Dec. 20 to file further arguments in the case.