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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Campbell has date with court

  • The next step in Shawn Campbell’s lengthy quest for a new trial is scheduled for March 2 in Steuben County Court.

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  • The next step in Shawn Campbell’s lengthy quest for a new trial is scheduled for March 2 in Steuben County Court.
    Campbell, 33, claims he was coerced and tricked into pleading guilty to killing 47-year-old Bath resident Rhonda Bilby in 2004. He pleaded guilty in October 2005, then almost immediately asked to withdraw his plea.
    A motion to withdraw his plea –? and a subsequent motion to vacate his judgment – failed, but an appellate court gave his case new life two weeks ago when it ordered a county-level hearing to determine if Campbell’s trial attorney, William Kelley, withheld evidence from his client.
    Campbell is scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. March 2 in county court. A date for the hearing will likely be set then.
    According to information in the appellate court’s decision, before the murder, an unidentified state prison inmate informed the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office that he had information about a plot to kill Bilby. The plot involved people other than Campbell.
    The district attorney’s office turned over the evidence to Kelley, but Campbell claims Kelley never shared the information with him. Campbell, who pleaded guilty a week into his criminal trial, said he would not have pleaded guilty had he been aware of the evidence.
    In pleading guilty, Campbell, who once did handy work for the victim, said he struck Bilby in the head with a wrench. Police said Campbell had gone to the house to burglarize it and was surprised when Bilby returned home from work.
    Campbell claims the real killer is Bilby’s husband, Rawlin Bilby. Rawlin Bilby has denied killing his wife.
    Campbell is serving 25 years to life at the Wende Correctional Facility east of Buffalo. His earliest release date is March 8, 2030.

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