WATERLOO — A Black Hawk County jury is weighing the state’s case against a Dubuque man accused of organizing a 2016 robbery that ended with a slaying.
Eric Dewayne Campbell Jr., 32, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the shooting at Table Mound Mobile Home Park in Key West, Iowa. The case was moved to Waterloo because of pretrial publicity in Dubuque County.
Prosecutor Douglas Hammerand said Campbell planned to rob 21-year-old Collin Brown in the early morning hours of April 2, 2016. Brown fled after Campell, Tacari Minifee and Imere Hall broke into his mobile home, and Minifee shot Collins as he attempted to find refuge at a neighbor’s house.
“He planned it. He arranged it. He was there. You can’t get any more active than that,” Hammerand told jurors during closing arguments Monday. He said Campbell was aiding and abetting Minifee and argued a murder conviction was warranted because Brown was killed during the commission of the robbery.
Public Defender Aaron Hawbaker said the state failed to meet its burden of proof in the case.
Investigators didn’t have any physical evidence linking Campbell to the scene, but Corby Yager, a co-defendant who didn’t accompany the robbers to the mobile home park, testified Campbell told her about his plans before the robbery, and after the shooting he told her how it happened and how it went wrong.
The driver, Taylor Shaw, testified she drove Minifee, Hall and a third man she wasn’t able to identify — but prosecutors claim was Campbell — to and from the mobile home park.
“Accomplices, people that are working with others, that get in a pinch, are inherently unreliable. They will say and do anything to save their own skin,” Hawbaker said. “When you are looking at a case, there’s got to be something more than what comes out of their mouths.”
Hawbaker also argued if jurors believe Campbell was the third man, he shouldn’t be found guilty of murder because surveillance video shows the third man had returned to the getaway car when Minifee shot at Brown.
Minifee and Hall were convicted of murder and robbery in trials last year, and Shaw is awaiting trial.
Campbell went to trial on the charge in December, but the case ended in a mistrial.