Testimony begins in Campbell murder trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Testimony begins in Campbell murder trial

Gene Campbell sitting at his trial, Wednesday Gene Campbell sitting at his trial, Wednesday

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Testimony began Wednesday in the murder trial of 32-year-old Gene Campbell of Waterloo. Campbell's accused of strangling to death 60-year-old Jim Hendrix Junior on November 30th of 2007. Hendrix body sat for three days before a friend found it.

Black Hawk County District Attorney Tom Ferguson used surveillance video to lay out a time line of Jim Hendrix's death. 

"After the defendant leaves Jim Hendrix's apartment at 10:01 PM on November 30th Jim Hendrix is not seen alive again," Ferguson said.

Three days later, Andre Buckner a friend of Hendrix who lived with him for a time found the body and called 911.

"I walked in on my friend and he's lying there dead," Buckner said on the tape.

"What," the 911 Operator replied.

"Somebody killed him," Buckner continued.

 "What do you mean?" said the operator.

 "They got a cord around his neck," Buckner said.

Police officers who were the first at the scene described what they found.

"I observed a black make lying on the floor face up and there was a blue chair that had been tipped over and quite a large amount of blood around the male," Sergeant Kerry Devine said.

A short time later, police arrested Campbell on a parole violation. Police found blood on both his shoes and pants.

"A DNA profile was developed from the left instep of that shoe and the major contributor of that blood and that DNA was consistent with the profile of Jim Hendrix."

Wednesday's first witness, Andre Buckner, originally told police he hadn't been at Hendrix's apartment the day of the murder, but he changed his story when police showed him the surveillance video.

The prosecution will continue to call witnesses on Thursday. The trial is expected to last around two weeks.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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