Appeals court confirms double-murder conviction

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BRANSON MO NEWS: An appeals court has confirmed a guilty verdict against a man for his role in the murder of a Willard couple in Taney County.Robert Campbell, 73, was sentenced to two life sentences after he was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder by a jury in 2016. He was one of five people sentenced for the killing of Russell and Rebecca Porter, who were taken by force from their home in Willard, driven to Taney County and shot in April 2011.Campbell’s conviction was on appeal, but on Wednesday, the Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals confirmed the guilty verdicts.

Codefendants Dusty Hicks, Tony Friend and Tony Friend’s wife Windy Friend are all serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.The other defendant, Phillip Lee Friend, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on two counts of second-degree murder. When he was sentenced, he was already serving a seven-year sentence for felonious restraint related to the same case. Although Friend, who served as a state witness in jury trials against Campbell and Windy Friend, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May 2013, he was not sentenced until all other suspects were sentenced.According to court records, the Porters, who lived next door to Campbell in Willard, were kidnapped from their home in the early morning hours of April 18, 2011, bound with zip ties, and driven at gunpoint to the Cedarcreek area by Phillip and Tony Friend and Hicks.The couple was then taken into the woods and shot by Tony Friend. He later returned to the site to move the bodies to a more hidden spot. The Porters’ bodies were discovered in July that year. During Tony Friend’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors said they intended to show that Campbell paid $100,000 to have the Porters killed.Campbell, was indicted by a grand …


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