Murder trial opens in 2012 shooting death of Memphis officer

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2017 6:11 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A man charged with killing a Memphis officer during a chaotic raid on his home in December 2012 didn't know he was shooting at police, a defense lawyer said Tuesday as the man's trial opened.

Treveno Campbell, 25, has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing Memphis Police Officer Martoiya Lang and attempting to kill five other officers. Lang, a 32-year-old mother of four, was one of four Memphis officers killed since July 2011 and Memphis' first female officer slain in the line of duty.

Police said Organized Crime Unit officers armed with a warrant and wearing protective vests entered a home where drug trafficking was suspected on Dec. 14, 2012. According to police, Campbell opened fire with a 9mm pistol with a high-capacity magazine, striking Lang and another officer who survived, police said. Campbell was shot during the raid.

In Tuesday's opening statements, defense lawyer William Massey said Campbell was asleep in bed after coming home tired from his job the day of the raid. "All of a sudden, he heard a crashing noise. Boom!" Massey told a jury of 12 and two alternates.

With his heart "beating out of his chest," Campbell began shooting wildly, thinking his home was being invaded by people who were not police, Massey added.

Campbell fired shots in an attempt to scare off the intruders before he realized it was police who had bashed in the front door, according to Massey. He showed jurors a heavy police battering ram.

Campbell stopped firing and put his hands up when he realized he was shooting at police, Massey said. That's when an officer shot Campbell three times, the lawyer said.

"The issue is if Treveno Campbell knew they were police," Massey said. "He thought he was the victim of a home invasion."

Massey alleged that officers were looking for a person who did not end up matching Campbell's description.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Alanda Dwyer addressed jurors while wearing a black protective vest marked "police." Dwyer said officers knocked before entering the home and they loudly identified themselves as police.

Campbell fired 11 shots at officers during the raid, "firing wildly down the hall where the officers were," Dwyer said.

Dwyer described Campbell as someone who was obsessed with drugs and money.

Campbell faces charges of possessing drugs with the intent to sell, in addition to charges of first-degree murder in Lang's death, attempted murder of the other five officers and using a firearm while committing a felony. Police said they found marijuana, a gun and cash in the house.

Judge James Beasley has issued a gag order in the case. He ordered lawyers, witnesses and law enforcement officials to refrain from speaking to media representatives or making comments on social media about the case.

Memphis police have said two officers involved in the investigation of Lang's shooting were relieved of duty as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation looked into their conduct.