Joseph Campbell pleads no contest to negligent homicide charge
By: Dennis Carlson - MTN News
Joseph Campbell (center) pleaded no contest Wednesday in Helena to a charge of negligent homicide.
During the hearing, Newman’s widow Jackie read a statement to the court
Joseph Campbell, the Augusta-area man who shot and killed Tim Newman, pleaded no contest Wednesday in Helena to a charge of negligent homicide.
Campbell shot and killed Newman over a long-running property dispute on October of 2013 at the Diamond Bar X subdivision outside of Augusta.
A four-week trial in the Campbell case earlier this year ended in a hung jury. A second trial had been originally scheduled for October 2016, until the plea agreement was reached.
Attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense recommended a 20-year suspended sentence, which the judge accepted.
Assistant Attorney General Mary Cochenour told the court that the amended charge and plea agreement brings resolution to the case.
“The agreement focuses solely on community safety,” said Cochenour.
Campbell, who made no statement during the hearing, is now prohibited from traveling within 10 miles of Newman’s cabin on the Diamond Bar X subdivision, and he must transfer his ownership of his property there to another party within a year.
“There was no conflict of any kind over property until Mr. Campbell moved into that neighborhood,” said Cochenour. “And then there is a binder of law enforcement reports from the day he moved up there.”
During the hearing, Newman’s widow Jackie read a statement to the court: “You have affected our lives in a horrendous way, by causing pain and sorrow beyond belief.”
Cochenhour read a statement from Newman’s daughter Christy: “How is it that such a young father will never get to share his years of advice with his daughter who needs it so much? And finally, why is it that my newborn baby will never get to meet her grandpa or be able to learn all of the many skills that he has taught her?”
MTN has also learned details of the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Campbell by Newman’s widow that was settled out of court earlier this year.
According to Jackie Newman’s lawyers, Campbell’s insurance company has agreed to pay $1 million dollars to Tim Newman’s estate.
The Campbell case will be the subject of an episode of "Dateline NBC" that is scheduled to air June 11th.