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Former cop to stand trial Aug. 8 for murder
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Former cop to stand trial Aug. 8 for murder

VALPARAISO — An Aug. 8 trial has been scheduled for a former Hammond and Gary police officer charged with murdering the mother of three of his children.

The trial involving Kevin Campbell was scheduled out over three weeks after Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said it could go for as long as 10 days.

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford hears trials on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday so as not to interfere with the routine court call.

Campbell, 32, is charged with killing Tiara Thomas, 30, who was found covered in blood about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 18, 2015, in her unit at Park Place Apartments, 5970 Old Porter Road in Portage. She died later at the hospital.

Court records allege Campbell shot Thomas sometime between 4:37 a.m. and 5:55 a.m., then took their three children to school.

The couple's oldest child, a middle school student, reportedly told investigators that on the way to school that morning, they stopped at Columbus Park in Lake Station, where Campbell dumped a bag the child believed contained shoes and other unknown items at the park. Police have not recovered the bag.

Campbell kept the three children overnight the night before Thomas was killed, which was unusual, according to court records. He allegedly requested his oldest child bring him a key to the apartment nearly two weeks before the killing.

There was no forced entry into Thomas' apartment the morning she was killed, according to the court document.

The affidavit states Campbell paid Thomas nearly $1,500 per month in child support and the two often argued about the money and how it was spent. The charges indicate Campbell was in debt and his vehicle had been repossessed.

Campbell made an unsuccessful attempt this past summer to be released on bond while his case proceeds.

While Bradford agreed with the defense that there may not be a lot of physical evidence linking him to the crime, he said the presumption of his guilt is strong based on circumstantial evidence and that is enough to justify continuing to hold Campbell without bond.

A status hearing in the case was scheduled for April 24, with a pre-trial conference July 10.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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