Ann Campbell sentenced for murder, attempted murder of her sons

Published 10:37 am Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ann Campbell was sentenced early Thursday morning to 30 years in prison for murdering one of her sons and 20 years for attempted murder of another.

Judge John Bush told Campbell the sentences could be served concurrently.

Campbell previously pleaded guilty Dec. 13 for murdering her 11-year-old son Michael Campbell and attempting to murder another son, Bailey Mays, who was 15 at the time.

Several relatives asked Campbell why she shot her sons, while some reassured Campbell she was a good mother leading up to the incident while echoing the statement that questions needed to be answered.

Campbell hung her head and said she was sorry but that she didn’t “choose” what happened.

“I can’t explain something I don’t understand,” Campbell said.

Campbell was arrested and charged after a June 2011 incident at her home in the Enterprise community where Campbell was found seated on her 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, according to prior testimony.

Campbell’s other son, Bailey Mays, was also shot but fled to a relative’s house on the same piece of property off County Road 69.

Mays later told officers he was asleep on the couch in the living room when he heard gunshots and saw Michael Campbell crawling down a hallway that led from a bedroom pleading with his mother, Ann Campbell, to not shoot him again.

Michael Campbell died before he could be transported to a hospital.

After shooting Michael Campbell a third time, Ann Campbell started toward Mays and said, “We don’t have to live like this anymore.”

Mays tried to exit the residence but found the front door locked. He escaped out a back door and later realized he had been shot in the thigh.

District attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit Randall Houston said he was satisfied with the sentence because Campbell will spend time in jail to think about the horrific crime she committed.

“This is a terrible case that is very difficult to make sense of why someone like Campbell did this,” Houston said. “We may never know why she did what she did but I think the sentence she received was very fair.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney C.J. Robinson said members of Campbell’s family had been easy to work with during the case by answering their phones and being willing to provide information at any time.

“The family was very involved in everything that happened,” Robinson said.

Campbell’s great aunt Mary Williams said she continues to feel sad about everything that has happened and will work to put the pieces of hers and her family’s life back together.

“Michael’s life is worth more than 50 years in prison,” Williams said. “We may never understand why she did it. What she did shocked the whole family but she has made a lot of bad decisions in her life.”

Williams said her family always thought Campbell was a good mother up until two years ago when something changed.

“I don’t know if we will ever be able to explain what happened, but something changed inside of her,” Williams said. “The Ann I always knew would have never done something like what she did.”