Tim Newman was shot dead by his neighbor after the two clashed over access rights to public land, Fear Thy Neighbor spotlights this tragic case.
October, 2013, in a remote area near Augusta, Montana, and a long-running property and access dispute between Tim Newman and Joseph Campbell reached its deadly conclusion.
It was on Oct. 18 when Newman, 53, and Campbell were stood either side of a fence, in the area where the dispute had been running for months. The pair had been fighting over access to trails and the locking of gates ever since Campbell moved into the area. That day things turned deadly when Campbell shot Newman dead, telling police it was self-defense.
However, police did not believe Campbell and prosecutors told the jury it was a case of cold-blooded murder. They highlighted Campbell’s similar disputes with other neighbors and police reported that in the three years before the shooting there had been over 24 calls related to Campbell’s behaviour.
In 2016, Campbell pleaded no contest to negligent homicide after the trial resulted in a hung jury. He was given a 20-year suspended sentence, banned from carrying a gun, ordered to stay at least 10 miles away from the cabin and to sell his own property.
At court, Newman’s widow told Campbell: “You have affected our lives in a horrendous way,” Mrs. Newman said. “By causing pain and sorrow beyond belief.”
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