MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Treveno Campbell said he didn’t know he was firing at police when he fatally shot a Memphis officer during a chaotic raid of his home four years ago.
A jury convicted him anyway, and he now faces a possible prison sentence of 25 years or more.
Campbell, 25, was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder in the death of Officer Martoiya Lang, a mother of four who was the first female Memphis police officer killed in the line of duty. Campbell had faced a potential life sentence if convicted of first-degree murder for Lang’s killing.
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Campbell said he was sound asleep before the raid on Dec. 14, 2012. He said he fired his gun indiscriminately because he thought his home was being invaded by criminals, despite testimony that the officers repeatedly — and loudly –identified themselves as police.
The 12-person jury also agreed on lesser charges involving the other five officers who broke through his door while searching for another man. He was convicted of attempted second-degree murder of two officers and reckless endangerment of the other three.
Prosecutor Reggie Henderson called it a “just verdict” served for Lang and her family.
“She was a good officer doing her job serving the community,” Henderson said.
Defense attorney William Massey said Campbell hadn’t thought he’d be found guilty of such stiff charges.
“He didn’t see this coming,” Massey said.
The jury also convicted Campbell of using a weapon while committing a felony and possessing marijuana with intent to sell and deliver.
Members of the Lang and Campbell families, some with tears in their eyes, declined comment.
Sentencing is March 1. Campbell, who had no prior criminal record, faces up to 25 years in prison for killing Lang. Sentences for the other charges could run at the same time or after he does his time for second-degree murder.
Officers testified they repeatedly yelled “police search warrant” as Lang and her fellow Organized Crime Unit officers crashed through the front door of Campbell’s rental home.
Campbell said he had come home tired from work and was asleep when he heard the loud “boom” of the battering ram. “I didn’t know what was going on,” Campbell testified Sunday. “A whole lot of racket. I was scared to death.”
Massey said the cacophony led Campbell to think his house was being broken into in a home invasion — and he did not know he was shooting at police when he started wildly firing his 9mm handgun to scare the intruders.
The officers were looking for a suspected cocaine dealer nicknamed “Lil Toot.” The group, known as Team 6, had safely served more than 200 warrants in 2012 before the deadly raid, according to trial testimony.
This time, Lang was shot in the left shoulder while standing in the doorway of Campbell’s bedroom. She was pulled from the house by a fellow officer before she died.
Officer William Vrooman was shot in the leg. He survived. Members of Team 6 sobbed while testifying.
Evidence showed Campbell was not mentioned in the warrant and officers never found “Lil Toot,” nor any cocaine. They did find cash and a large amount of marijuana.
Massey questioned the police tactics. He pressed officers to explain why Lang didn’t have a partner right beside her when she was shot; Vrooman testified he had just cleared the kitchen but was shot before reaching her.
Campbell said he had his hands up when he was shot three times. But Sgt. Darryl Dotson testified that Campbell was pointing a gun at him when he shot Campbell.
Massey told jurors to be skeptical, since police ran the investigation and “controlled the evidence.”