Judge hopes settlement can be reached in Ann Campbell shooting case

Published 10:37 am Thursday, October 11, 2012

Circuit Judge John Bush expressed hope Thursday that a settlement could be reached by Nov. 1 in the case of Ann Campbell, who stands accused of shooting her two sons, killing one.

Campbell–wearing a green jail-issued suit and bound by chains around her hands and feet–was present at a pre-trial hearing at the Chilton County Courthouse.

The hearing was set for Bush to decide whether photographs taken from the autopsy of 11-year-old Michael Campbell and from the crime scene would be permissible in a trial, but defense attorney David Karn asked Bush for more time to review the photos and decide if he would have any objections.

Bush said Nov. 1 would be the deadline for any objections but also said that he hoped there could be a more significant revelation at that hearing.

“I asked y’all to see if you could get the case resolved short of a trial,” Bush told Karn and Chief Deputy District Attorney C.J. Robinson. “If y’all will please continue to work toward that end…That’s the best way to take care of things if we can.

“Maybe we can be in a position to get all this resolved at our next meeting.”

More than 10 relatives and others interested in the case attended Thursday’s hearing.

Robinson said he looked through about 300 photos and selected 17 from the autopsy and 48 from the crime scene, a mobile home on County Road 69 in the Enterprise community.

“What [Robinson] has shucked it down to is probably going to be pretty close to what we end up working with,” Bush said.

Prosecutors said in August that they would not seek the death penalty for Ann Campbell, based on the unanimous desire of family members.

Chilton County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Jeff Cobb was the only witness called during a hearing in August 2011, The Clanton Advertiser reported at the time. Cobb testified that when officers arrived at the scene in June 2011, Campbell was seated on a sofa in her mobile home, about eight feet away from her son, Michael Campbell, who lay dying from three shots from a .22 bolt-action rifle.