Grand jury to hear Virginia college shooting suspect’s case

Oct 27, 2022, 2:57 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm
FILE - This photo combo of images provided by Bridgewater College shows campus safety Officer J.J J...

FILE - This photo combo of images provided by Bridgewater College shows campus safety Officer J.J Jefferson, left, and campus police Officer John Painter. On Feb. 1, 2022, a gunman shot and killed the two campus officers, prompting a protracted campus lockdown and search before the suspect was apprehended, state police and school officials said. On Wednesday, Oct. 26, an officer testified that Alexander Wyatt Campbell, the man charged in connection with the slayings of the two campus officers, told an arresting officer that he shot the officers, asking for their names, so he could apologize to their families. (Matthew Cosner/Courtesy of Bridgewater College via AP, File)

(Matthew Cosner/Courtesy of Bridgewater College via AP, File)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — The man charged in the slayings of two campus officers at a private Virginia college told an arresting officer that he shot the men, asking for their names so he could apologize to their families, the officer testified Wednesday.

Alexander Campbell, 28, who is charged with murder and other charges in the February shooting at Bridgewater College, appeared at a preliminary hearing where a judge determined he was mentally fit to stand trial, news outlets reported. Harrisonburg-Rockingham General District Court Judge John Hart scheduled the case to be heard by a grand jury on Nov. 21.

Campbell is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated murder of a police officer, and other offenses in the deaths of campus police officer John Painter, 55, and college safety officer J.J. Jefferson, 48, friends who were known on campus as the “dynamic duo.”

Campbell, who has not entered a plea, is being held without bond. Campbell was a student at the school from 2013 to 2017 and had competed on the cross country team.

Attorney Gene Hart, who is representing Campbell, previously said Campbell may suffer from undiagnosed schizophrenia and would undergo a mental health evaluation. It’s not clear if that took place. His mother, Cheryl Campbell, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in February that Campbell is mentally ill but did not elaborate. Hart did not present evidence Wednesday and declined to comment after the hearing.

The shooting happened Feb. 1 when the officers were called to an area outside the college’s Memorial Hall for a report of a suspicious man on campus. The judge heard from a student who described seeing Painter and Jefferson confront Campbell, who then fired several shots, and from law enforcement officers who described the officers’ injuries and the capture of Campbell on an island in the nearby North River.

Harrisonburg police officer Brooke Wetherell recalled that as she arrested Campbell, he told her he had been shot by an officer who he had shot and wanted to know the officers’ names “so I can apologize to their families.” Wetherell said Campbell appeared to be coherent.

After the shooting, police found Campbell’s possessions, including food and ammunition, in a basement room of Memorial Hall, according to Heather Marshall of Virginia State Police. The door handle to the room was removed and there was an electronic doorstop, Marshal said. Police also found a journal that indicated Campbell was showering at the gym and doing laundry in a dorm. The journal included his chores and places he visited on campus.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Chevron sign is displayed outside one of the company's gas stations in Bradenton, Fla., Fe...
Associated Press

Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Saturday eased some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between President Nicolás Maduro’s government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This file booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Barry Croft Jr....
Associated Press

Judge denies bid for new trial in Whitmer kidnapping case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Kevin Johnson.  A federa...
Associated Press

Judge denies 19-year-old’s ask to attend father’s execution

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection, upholding a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This March 6, 2014, file photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation's only unde...
Associated Press

US nuclear waste repository begins filling new disposal area

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement this week, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the Broward County Courthouse i...
Associated Press

New state voter fraud units finding few cases from midterms

WASHINGTON (AP) — State-level law enforcement units created after the 2020 presidential election to investigate voter fraud are looking into scattered complaints more than two weeks after the midterms but have provided no indication of systemic problems. That’s just what election experts had expected and led critics to suggest that the new units were more […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Liability finding in Conley rape allegation to be appealed

CLEVELAND (AP) — An attorney is vowing an appeal for a woman found liable by a civil jury for malicious prosecution in a rape allegation she made against a former Ohio State football standout more than five years ago. The woman’s attorney, Patrick Thomas, said his client “deserves justice and patiently waited for her day […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Grand jury to hear Virginia college shooting suspect’s case