Campbell murder case: Son found guilty of 2010 killing of elderly parents

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – The trial of William Roger Campbell, charged in the 2010 murders of his parents, William “Bill” and Ina Campbell, ended Monday with a guilty verdict by the jury after about four hours of deliberation.

Campbell, 66, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. His adoptive parents were 82 and 81 when they were found by a neighbor, dead in their beds from gunshot wounds to the head.

William “Bill” and Ina Campbell. (Contributed by WKRN)

State: ‘They didn’t die fast enough’

The state made a persuasive closing argument this morning, with comments from Assistant District Attorney Marianne Bell and Assistant District Attorney Crystal Morgan.

“They didn’t die fast enough,” Morgan said. “That’s why he killed them. He needed money and they didn’t die fast enough.”

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Bell told the jury that the state had to prove three specific acts to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. First, they had to prove that it was Campbell who did it. Second, they had to prove malice. And finally, they had to prove that the defendant acted without just cause.

The time of death was estimated at around 6:20 a.m. on January 28, 2010. The defendant told detectives that he had left his parents’ home at 7 that day and that they were still in their nightgown and pajamas when he left.

The Campbells were creatures of habit. Based on the medical record found at the residence, the meticulous entries stopped on the 27th. A neighbor testified that Bill Campbell always got up, grabbed his daily paper and drank his coffee, but that the papers for the 28th and 29th were still in the mailboxes.

Bell raised the question of whether it would be possible for the Campbells to have been killed on Thursday night or Friday morning after the defendant left.

“So, for the sake of argument, let’s assume they were awake,” Bell said. “To have been killed by someone else in their sleep, they would have gotten up Thursday morning, not taken medicine, not gotten the newspaper, not called the vet to take care of Lucky, not used Bill’s cell phone, not contacted anyone, gone back to bed, put on oxygen, go back to sleep, don’t be woken up by Tino when the glass broke in the basement and an intruder entered Bill’s bedroom.”

ADA Marianne Bell addresses the jury during the Campbell double murder trial on January 23, 2023. (Jordan Renfro)

The defense questions the evidence

The defense took a different stance, calling the arguments “spaghetti sauce.”

“A lot has happened since then. Exactly 13 years ago as of tomorrow. … We still have no explanation as to why it took 11 years to charge anyone in this case. The question is, does the state even know? said defense attorney Joseph Allen Price .” First, I want you to think of this matter like a pot of cooked spaghetti. To figure this case out, all the state asks you to do is take that pot of spaghetti and throw it against the wall. What sticks? That’s their business. What doesn’t stick are the red herrings.”

They argued that all the state had provided was more doubt. No new DNA was drawn from the decomposed stains found on the sheets in Roger Campbell’s truck, and the blood found in the bathroom sink was too decomposed to find any DNA.

Defense attorney Joseph Allen Price addresses the jury during the Campbell double murder trial on January 23, 2023. (Jordan Renfro)

Price then went on to talk about the valuables still in the house.

“Truthfully, we don’t know what was taken. Only one person here knows how many guns Bill Campbell owned. Only one person knew of a log that kept a record of all of Bill Campbell’s guns, and that was Shawn Campbell.”

“He (the defendant) got the inheritance,” Morgan said in a rebuttal. “And only he got the inheritance. Shawn got nothing. Shawn was not even mentioned in any of the wills that were eventually granted in the probate case. His parents didn’t die soon enough and he was so desperate that he put a bullet in each of their brains and he killed them while they were sleeping in their own beds.”

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