Motion to Dismiss Filed in Arson Case

 A Knox man accused of setting his business on fire will not stand trial a second time. C&C Salvage owner James Campbell’s second proceeding was supposed to start Monday. He was arrested on an arson charge about two weeks after a fire destroyed his business on U.S. 35 at Toto Road in March of 2014. A jury trial last March ended with a hung jury following 12 hours of deliberations. Continue reading

Arson Defendant Comes to Court Late Without an Attorney

 A Knox man whose business burned under suspicious circumstances in March of 2014 is still looking for an attorney to represent him in his upcoming arson trial. James Campbell’s two defense attorneys withdrew from his case in early June, citing nonpayment for legal services. He’s accused of setting fire to Starke County Recycling at the corner of U.S. 35 and Toto Road. The jury in Campbell’s March arson trial was unable to reach a verdict after 12 hours of deliberations. Continue reading

New Trial Date Set in James Campbell Case

 An October trial date has been set for the owner of a Knox business destroyed by fire last March, but that may change.

A jury last month in Starke County Recycling owner James Campbell’s arson trial deadlocked after 12 hours of deliberations. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan and Campbell’s attorneys agreed to set aside two weeks for a new trial starting Oct. 19. However Campbell’s attorney says he has not been paid yet and may withdraw as counsel if payment isn’t made within 30 days. If that happens a new trial date will be set. Campbell was ordered to appear at the next status conference on May 27.

Testimony Concludes in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

 
 

The fate of a Knox man accused of setting his businesses on fire will soon be in the hands of a jury. The defense in James Campbell’s arson trial rested at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after calling three witnesses. The first, a former ATF agent turned fire investigation consultant, questioned whether the fire that destroyed Campbell’s Tire Barn, Starke County Recycling and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road last March was deliberately set. Mike Vergon has operated a private fire investigation practice in Indianapolis for the past two-and-a-half years. He visited the burned out business on June 23 and Oct. 2 of last year. Vergon testified burn patterns don’t help with origin and cause determinations with damage as extensive as what he saw and said it’s his opinion the cause cannot be determined without good witness corroboration. Continue reading

Testimony Puts Salvage Yard Owner at Business Minutes Before Fire

 
 

Video evidence introduced in the arson trial of a Knox businessman indicates he was the last person to leave the property and did so minutes before the first smoke was visible. James Campbell owns Starke County Recycling, Campbell’s Tire Barn and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road in Knox. The businesses caught fire just after 5 p.m. on March 20, 2014. Then-Chief Investigator Kenny Pfost from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department testified Campbell left the business at 4:59 p.m. and pulled into his driveway next door. He left his house at 5:02 p.m., and the first smoke was spotted on the video 40-seconds later. Video also indicates two employees left just before Campbell did. Continue reading

Final State’s Witnesses Scheduled to Testify in Arson Trial

 
 

The final witnesses for the state are set to testify today in the arson trial of a Knox businessman. James Campbell is accused of setting fire to the buildings that housed his tire shop and recycling center at the corner of U.S. 35 and Toto Road last March. On Friday Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan indicated she plans to call three additional witnesses. The witnesses for the defense will testify tomorrow, and closing arguments are anticipated on Wednesday. Campbell is charged with arson as a Class A felony and faces between 20 and 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted. Continue reading

Investigators Testify in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

 
 

The arson trial of a Knox man whose business went up in flames a year ago yesterday will resume Monday morning. A pair of investigators from the state fire marshal’s office testified in James Campbell’s trial yesterday. They both took part in the investigation in the fire that destroyed the buildings Campbell owns at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road which were home to C&C Salvage, Starke County Recycling and Campbell’s Tire Barn and Shop. Both agree the fires were set and started in two areas of the shop. Continue reading

Firefighters Testify in Arson Trial

 
 

The first firefighters to arrive at the scene of a blaze at a Knox business testified yesterday in the arson trial of its owner. James Campbell is accused of setting fire to his salvage yard and tire shop on U.S. 35 at Toto Road last March 20st. Barry Sanders from the Bass Lake Fire Department was the first to arrive. He showed up in his personal vehicle with his sons about five minutes after the notification went out. Sanders was recovering from shoulder surgery but still came out to assist. He testified his concern was for Campbell’s house, which is located just south of the salvage yard. Sanders said he knocked loudly on the doors and windows for several minutes until the heat drove him away, and nobody answered. Earlier witnesses testified Campbell was at the shop until around 5 p.m. Firefighters were notified at 5:17 p.m., according to dispatch records. Continue reading

Testimony Resumes Today in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

 
 

The state will call more witnesses today in the arson trial of a Knox man accused of setting his business on fire. James Campbell owns C&C Salvage, also known as Starke County Recycling, at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road. The business caught fire last March 20, and Campbell was arrested eight days later on an arson charge. The state’s first witness was a mechanic named Tim Graves, who worked for Campbell for two weeks prior to the fire. He testified Campbell sent him out to get seven gallons of gas and a 50-foot extension cord about two hours before the fire started. Continue reading

First Witnesses Testify in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

 
 

The first two witnesses for the state have testified in the arson trial of a Knox man accused of setting his business on fire. James Campbell owns C&C Salvage, also known as Starke County Recycling, at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road. The business caught fire last March 20, and Campbell was arrested eight days later on an arson charge. The state’s first witness was a mechanic named Tim Graves, who worked for Campbell for two weeks prior to the fire. He testified Campbell sent him out to get seven gallons of gas and a 50-foot extension cord about two hours before the fire started. Continue reading

Jury Seated in C&C Salvage Arson Trial

 
 

A jury of eight men and six women will hear testimony in the C&C Salvage arson trial in Starke Circuit Court. Attorneys for the state and defendant James Campbell spent yesterday screening prospective jurors and finally settled on a panel of 12 with two alternates around 5:20 p.m. The scrap yard south of Knox at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road caught fire on March 20, 2014. Firefighters from eight local departments responded and spent several hours battling the blaze. One firefighter from the Bass Lake Fire Department was injured. Campbell owns the business. He was arrested eight days later on a charge of arson as a Class A felony. If convicted he faces between 20 and 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Continue reading

Arson Trial Set to Start in Starke Circuit Court

 
 

Almost a year after a set fire destroyed a Knox business the owner is scheduled to stand trial in Starke Circuit Court. James Campbell owns C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 just south of Toto Road. It caught fire on March 20. The Bass Lake, Knox-Center Township, Hamlet, Washington Township, Koontz Lake, North Judson-Wayne Township, San Pierre and Monterey Fire Departments all responded to the blaze and spent several hours getting it under control. One firefighter was injured. Black smoke was visible for miles, and a brigade of tanker trucks hauled water to the scene. Continue reading

September Trial Date Set for James Campbell

James Campbell
James Campbell

An amended date has been set for a trial for James Campbell. A full week will be dedicated for the jury trial beginning Monday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. in Starke Circuit Court.

Campbell is charged with arson, a Class A felony, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He is accused of intentionally setting a fire at C&C Salvage at the corner of Toto Road and U.S. 35 south of Knox on Thursday, March 20. Eight fire departments were called to the business to put out the extensive fire.

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James Campbell Pleads Not Guilty to Arson Charge

James Campbell
James Campbell

James Campbell pleaded not guilty to a charge of Arson as a Class A felony in an initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

Campbell is accused of intentionally setting a fire on March 20 at his business known as Starke County Recycling at the corner of U.S. 35 and Toto Road south of Knox. A Bass Lake fireman was injured while battling the blaze at the business. Eight fire departments were called to the scene to contain the fire.

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Judge Sets Bond for Businessman Charged with Arson

James Campbell
James Campbell

Bond has been set at $2 million for the owner of a Knox business destroyed by fire on Thursday, March 20. Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall found probable cause to charge James Campbell, 46, with arson, which is a Class A felony, during a Sunday afternoon hearing in his courtroom. He also ordered Campbell to surrender his passport. Officers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested Campbell late Friday. He owns Starke County Recycling, also known as C&C Salvage. The business, located on U.S. 35 just south of Toto Road, caught fire on Thursday, March 20. Starke County dispatchers were notified at 5:17 p.m. The Bass Lake, Knox-Center Township, Hamlet, Washington Township, Koontz Lake, North Judson-Wayne Township, San Pierre and Monterey Fire Departments all responded to the blaze and spent several hours getting it under control. One firefighter was injured. Black smoke was visible for miles, and a brigade of tanker trucks hauled water to the scene. Continue reading