A convicted embezzler was sentenced on Wednesday to two consecutive life sentences for the cold-case execution-style killing of his elderly adoptive parents for their $180,000 inheritance and staged it to look like a burglary.
William Roger Campbell, 66, was convicted on Jan. 20 of two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of his adoptive parents, Bill and Ina Campbell, 82 and 81, on Jan. 28, 2010.
“They were very loving and compassionate grandparents,” Shawn Campbell, the defendant’s son, testified during the victim impact statements, Clarksvillenow.com reported. “Growing up, life wasn’t always the greatest, but they were always there, always by my side to help me with anything I needed. If I ever needed somebody to talk to, a shoulder to lean on, or anything I needed, they did everything they could to help me as best they could help me. They’d do anything for me.”
“There is nobody walking the face of this earth that will have anything good to say about him (the defendant). He’s been nothing but a plague and just a virus to anyone he has ever been around,” Shawn Campbell said.
“I just want this court to be aware of the fact that the deep seeded hatred that I have for the defendant goes deeper than anybody will ever understand,” Shawn Campbell said.
Campbell’s attorney, Joseph Allen Price, called the punishment for his client, who’s 64, cruel.
“At this point, what sentence the judge imposes, frankly consecutive or concurrent for that matter, will be a death sentence for Mr. Campbell,” said Price, according to Clarksville Now. “Being 64 years old at this point in time, if I’m right, he’d be 160 or 135 before he would be eligible for parole.”
The couple was found dead in their Tennessee home in 2010. Their house was ransacked. Each had been shot once in the head. Campbell was arrested in Georgia more than a decade later, in July 2021. A grand jury indicted him on two counts of murder in the first degree.
At his sentencing, Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Marianne Bell argued for the most severe punishment for Campbell, who she said is a probation violator convicted in 1989 for embezzlement.
“The defendant is a dangerous offender whose behavior indicates little or no regard for human life and no hesitation about committing a crime where the risk to human life is high,” she said, according to Clarksville Now. “He murdered both of his parents. Two good people in this community. A veteran, a former officer, and a bailiff (Bill), and a homemaker (Ina.) And both of them had to die for him to inherit their estate worth almost $180,000.”
The judge appeared to agree with that assessment in issuing his sentence.
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