Appeals court upholds cold case conviction in Black Oak murder

2013-02-28T12:20:00Z 2013-02-28T22:34:19Z Appeals court upholds cold case conviction in Black Oak murderDan Carden, (317) 637-9078
February 28, 2013 12:20 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed the 2011 murder conviction of a former Gary man for the 1992 killing of a woman in Gary's Black Oak neighborhood.

Donald Campbell, now 60, was sentenced to 58 years in prison for the brutal stabbing death of Donna Hogue, 62.

Hogue was found dead in her home in the 6700 block of 25th Avenue on June 5, 1992, with her neck slashed and nine stab wounds in her back, including six deep enough to lacerate a lung, according to court records.

The case went unsolved until 2008, when Campbell's daughter, Laurie McDonald, told a Lake County Sheriff's detective that her father may have been involved in the killing. Campbell's sister and Hogue's brother were once married.

Further investigation, including DNA testing not available in 1992, eventually led to Campbell's arrest at his home in Sullivan, Ind., south of Terre Haute. Following an eight-day trial, a Lake County jury deliberated just two hours before finding Campbell guilty of murder.

In his appeal, Campbell challenged the legitimacy of witness testimony, jury transcripts and DNA evidence; accused the prosecutor of misconduct; claimed the judge issued improper jury instructions; argued there wasn't enough evidence to convict him; and suggested his prison term was excessive.

The appeals court, in a 3-0 decision written by former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard, rejected each of Campbell's claims and upheld his conviction and prison sentence.

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