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Adair Circuit Court jury trial

From the office of Brian Wright
Commonwealth’s Attorney 29th Judicial Circuit

On Thursday, August 19, 2021, an Adair County Circuit Court jury convicted Donnie J. Campbell, age 48, of First-Degree Assault, First-Degree Robbery, Violation of a Kentucky EPO/DVO, and of being a Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree following a two-day trial. The jury recommended a sentence of Life Imprisonment for Campbell.

Campbell, who was represented at trial by attorney Samantha Costello, will appear before Adair Circuit Judge Judy Vance Murphy for final sentencing on September 14, 2021.


According to testimony at trial, Campbell entered the home of Michael A. "Bowdy" Smith on Burkesville Street in Columbia on May 22, 2020, and assaulted Smith with a weapon. Campbell then stole a wallet from Smith before leaving Smith's home. Smith sustained several injuries to his head, neck, and face - including a fractured skull, broken vertebrae, lacerations, and a significant head wound. Smith was able to reach a neighbor's residence where 911 was called and Smith was able to identify Donnie Campbell as the person who had attacked him.

The case was investigated by officers from the Columbia Police Department, with CPD Officer Kevin Atwood leading the investigation. Shortly after the assault, CPD Officer Trevor Foster located Campbell at a residence on Pine Tree Street and arrested Campbell for violating a domestic violence order after he was observed in the presence of Felicia Woolridge - who Campbell had been ordered to have no contact with.

Jurors were shown photographs of Smith's injuries and of Smith's home - which depicted a bloody scene following the assault. State crime lab examiners testified that Campbell's clothing seized the night of the incident contained evidence of blood. The crime lab analysts further testified that the DNA profile obtained from Campbell's clothing matched Michael Smith.

Commonwealth's Attorney Brian Wright prosecuted the case and informed the jury of Campbell's criminal history during the penalty phase of the trial, which included three prior convictions for Second-Degree Robbery in Jefferson County; prior Burglary convictions from Jefferson County and Taylor County; and several other convictions from Warren County and Adair County. The jury found Campbell guilty of all charges and recommended the maximum sentence of Life in prison. Campbell will be eligible for parole after he has served 20 years of that sentence.

Wright commended Officer Atwood and the other Columbia Police Department officers for their efforts investigating such a violent crime and for helping to ensure justice for the victim of the crime. Wright added, "my office remains committed to ensuring the safety of all citizens of this jurisdiction and will continue to aggressively prosecute those persons who commit such violent criminal acts against others."


This story was posted on 2021-08-20 11:58:23
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