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WATERLOO — A Dubuque man was found guilty of lesser charges in connection with a botched drug robbery at a Key West mobile home park in 2016.

Eric Dewayne Campbell Jr., 32, had been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Collin Brown, 21. Prosecutors allege Campbell planned and took part in the robbery, which fell apart when Brown fled his mobile home and was shot by robber Tacari Minifee.

The heist netted $30 in cash.

A Black Hawk County jury deliberated Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning before announcing they had reached a verdict around noon, finding Campbell guilty of voluntary manslaughter and first-degree robbery.

Upon hearing the verdict, Campbell sat quietly, showing little emotion, as he had throughout the trial, which began testimony Feb. 28.

Campbell’s trial was moved to Waterloo because of pretrial publicity in Dubuque County, where the crime took place. A December trial for Campbell in Waterloo ended in a mistrial.

Sentencing will be at a later date, and Campbell will spend less time in prison for Brown’s death than he will for the robbery.

Under Iowa law, voluntary manslaughter carries up to 10 years in prison. First-degree robbery carries up to 25 years in prison with a mandatory 17 years and six months before parole eligibility.

Minifee and fellow robber Imere Hall were convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in trials last year and sentenced to life in prison for murder with a concurrent 25 years for robbery. Driver Taylor Shaw entered a plea deal, which is pending.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Douglas Hammerand said Campbell came up with the robbery plan and recruited people to help him.

Witnesses included a woman who testified Campbell told her of the plan before the robbery and then told her what happened afterward, but no witnesses testified they saw Campbell at the scene, and there was no physical evidence connecting him to the location.

Shaw, who didn’t know Campbell, said she drove Minifee, Hall and the third man she wasn’t able to identify to the Brown’s mobile home. Prosecutors argued the third man was Campbell.

Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker attacked the witnesses’ credibility, saying they would say anything to save themselves. He also argued if Campbell was the third man, he couldn’t be convicted of murder because the third man had returned to the getaway car by the time of the actual shooting.


Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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