KNOX – Prosecutors said over the weekend they plan to file a formal murder charge Monday against a Starke County man accused of shooting to death another county resident on Thanksgiving Day.
Starke County Prosecutor Leslie Baker said Saturday that probable cause was found against James L. Campbell, 52, to detain him without bond in the Starke County Jail.
Baker said formal charges against Campbell are expected to be filed on Monday.
Campbell is accused of shooting to death Randall Bailey, 75, at Bailey’s home in the 2100 block of C.R. 550 East shortly before 2:15 p.m. Thursday.
A caller to 911 reported Campbell fled the scene right after the shooting. Sheriff’s deputies and Knox police spotted Campbell’s Chevrolet Avalanche not long afterward.
Campbell led police on chase through southern Starke County for 20-30 minutes, police previously said.
“The suspect dangerously drove down several different roads, including state highways, with the suspect driving into and running oncoming traffic off the varying roadways,” Starke County sheriff’s Chief Det. Adam Gray writes in the probable cause affidavit.
Eventually, the chase ended along C.R. 400 West, south of C.R. 150 South. Campbell fled on foot into a farm field but was taken into custody.
Bailey was pronounced dead at the scene. Five people witnessed the shooting.
A motive for the homicide was not stated in the court documents, but Campbell is the nephew of Bailey’s wife, Frances Bailey.
Frances Bailey said there wasn’t a fight or argument before Campbell shot Bailey. She told investigators she “had not seen him in a very long time,” according to Gray’s affidavit. “She also indicated that Randy Bailey did not provoke James Lee Campbell in any way.”
Bailey’s stepson and the other witnesses backed up Frances Bailey’s story, saying there was no provocation before Campbell shot Bailey.
Several witnesses told detectives they heard a gunshot and then saw Campbell shoot Bailey in the head. They then fled into some neighboring woods to escape Campbell.
It wasn’t immediately known if Campbell has an attorney. As well, it wasn’t known when he could make an initial court appearance.