Monday, January 16, 2012

Shawn Campbell's "Journey to Justice": Appeal Denied

Imbalance in the scales of justice

It came as no surprise when Friday, we learned that Judge Latham denied Shawn's request for a new trial. As I had stated in an earlier blog, there are those of us that really believe that he had decided how he would rule on this as far back as May of last year...but it was even more evident the last day of the court hearing that I attended, as the judge seem short tempered and even bored with the whole issue.

No was contacted prior to the news report that aired Friday night on our local news (but was posted on Facebook by Shawn's cousin--which is how I found out!), so imagine our shock! I talked to Shawn Sunday (yesterday) morning and he had no idea that the judge had ruled on his case until I told him. 

Was he surprised at the denial?  No.

He is anticipating getting his copy of the denial in the next few days from his attorney, so that he can move forward and get his Appellate lawyer working on this at the next level. Because as we all know, "it's not over...yet"!  

What comes next is the judge's decision will go back in front of the Appellate panel of judges, and they will make another determination, as it appears that the questions that they wanted answered (3) in this last series of court appearances, was not answered in entirety. The points I can't say that I am completely clear on, but I know that the judge may have made a crucial error on his part by denying Shawn a new trial.

Judge Denies Campbell's Attempt At A New Trial 
Walter Smith-Randolph

January 13, 2012

BATH, NY (WENY-TV)---Convicted murderer Shawn Campbell hits another roadblock is his attempt to get a new trial.

Campbell is serving a 25-to-life sentence for the 2004 murder of Rhonda Bilby, a crime he pleaded guilty to but Campbell says his attorney withheld evidence to get a guilty plea.

A judge once again denied Campbell’s appeal for a new trial.

Campbell says his attorney never showed him letters outlining a murder-for-hire plot written before Biliby was bludgeoned to death but Judge Joseph Latham isn't buying it.

Campbell’s new lawyer says it's not over yet.

“The letters were something that were not presented to Mr. Campbell prior to the onset of the trial,” says Terry Baxter.

Judge Joseph Latham disagrees. He’s ruled against Campbell.

In his findings, Latham says Campbell was shown those letters by his original lawyer, Bill Kelley, before the murder trial started.

Baxter finds that hard to believe. He says Kelley didn't even know which prison Campbell was in.

"There was no way he could have routinely visited his client because his client was not in the local jail,” says Baxter.

Judge Latham also says the source of the letters, an inmate informant known as "L. R. Huffman" is not credible, but the same inmate worked with New York City prosecutors who've said he's cooperative and provides valuable information.

Campbell maintains his innocence.

In an earlier exclusive prison interview with WENY-TV News, he said he would have never confessed to the crime had he known about the letters.

“It was never known to me, until after the sentencing,” said Campbell.

Bill Kelly didn't return calls on Friday. The case now goes back to the appeals court for a final decision.

[WENY-TV is the only media outlet that has reported on this and we are really confused as to why this is as it is a big deal in our county. Is it possible that someone 'leaked' the news to WENY?  Hmmm....]



  1. Sorry to hear this. Though it's not a surprise, it's still a huge disappointment. The "justice" system is so crooked!

    1. It is...and it takes me back to when I was in college and my law professor said: "The justice system is NOT just"!