CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Trial is slated to begin Tuesday in the case of William and Ina Campbell, a beloved Clarksville couple in their 80s who were discovered shot to death in their home, execution style, on Jan. 29, 2010.
More than a decade later, in July 2021, the couple’s adoptive son, William Roger Campbell, was arrested while living in Georgia and was extradited back to Tennessee.
UNSOLVED TENNESSEE: Find more of the state’s cold cases, missing persons, and other mysteries →
News 2 was the only station with cameras rolling as William Roger Campbell was brought to the Montgomery County Jail and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
William and Ina Campbell were both found shot to death in their Jackson Road home on a snowy winter day. According to police, a neighbor hit the couple’s mailbox and tried to call their home to let them know. When the couple didn’t pick up, the neighbor reached out to another neighbor with a key to William and Ina’s home. That’s when the gruesome discovery was made. William Campbell was a retired law enforcement officer.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, William Roger Campbell appeared before Judge Robert Bateman at the Montgomery County Courthouse. The jury was selected and opening statements started the trial Tuesday afternoon.
“The love that they had for their son, Roger Campbell, could not overcome the greed and ultimately the betrayal that they experienced when this defendant Roger Campbell decided to put two 25-caliber in the heads of his elderly parents,” Assistant District Attorney Marianne Bell said in her opening statement.
Bell said William Roger Campbell was set up to get his parent’s estate. Defense Attorney Joseph Allen Price asked the jury to listen closely to the witnesses and ask why it took police 11 years to make an arrest.
“Ask yourself why the lengthy timeline? Did my client actually do this and they simply just dropped the ball or do they really not know and they’re simply rushing to close a cold case with faulty evidence?” Price asked.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
Following opening statements, William Roger Campbell’s son, William “Shawn” Campbell described a distant relationship with his father, mentioning he had only seen him a handful of times while visiting his grandparents’ house. Right before the murder, William Roger Campbell’s ex-wife, Linda Campbell, testified he showed up to her work at Fort Campbell after several years of no contact between the two. She said William Roger Campbell wanted to tell her that he was visiting his parents and planned on heading home to Georgia the next day, which was a Thursday. On Friday, the ADA said William and Ina were found dead in their home.
Day one of trial continued with testimony from the Campbell’s veterinarian, who testified the family had visited their office the Wednesday before the couple was found dead Friday. The veterinarian testified the couple’s son was with them during their visit, and that the couple’s terrier-mix had a territorial side towards its owners. Police previously noted that neighbors did not hear dogs barking around the time the couple was discovered.
William Roger Campbell broke into tears during testimony with a neighbor, when the prosecution shared a photo from the murder scene with the court. Neighbor David Champagne testified he went in the home to check on the couple when they did not answer their phone for a neighbor who hit their mailbox. Champagne had a key to the couple’s home.
Champagne said he entered through the basement door, where he found broken glass and the door partially open. He went upstairs to the main level of the home, where he discovered the couple’s dogs in the hallway. He said he found William and Ina Campbell both in their beds, with their bedroom doors shut, and noticed blood when he opened looked in Mr. Campbell’s room.
Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Homicide Unit said ground work done by initial investigators allowed them to piece together the puzzle 10 years after the murder, and finally make an arrest.
“These were innocent victims. These were people who were beloved by their community. They lived in their neighborhood for a number of years. Their neighbors loved them and they’re all happy to see some resolution,” Detective Keenan Carlton told News 2.
A perhaps surprising advocate for justice in William and Ina’s case was William Roger Campbell’s son, William “Shawn” Campbell. Shortly after his father’s arrest, William “Shawn” Campbell spoke with News 2 about how he was suspicious of his dad’s involvement just three days after his grandparents’ lives were taken.
“What scared me the most was that it would be forgotten about, which as you can see, now it hasn’t been forgotten about. That’s what means the most to me and the fact that the story hasn’t died and people are still interested,” William Roger Campbell’s son said back in 2021. “And want justice for them. That’s what means the most to me.”
📲 Download the News 2 app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for WKRN email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on WKRN.com for Nashville, TN and all of Middle Tennessee.
This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.