Belfast woman charged with criminal homicide

Friday, February 28, 2014

By Karen Hall


A Lewisburg man who was stabbed Saturday died Wednesday, making him the county's first homicide victim of 2014.

Paul D. Campbell, 48, of Mooresville Highway, was stabbed on Feb. 22, and died at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

His estranged wife, Melinda A. Campbell, 47, of Belfast, was arrested Saturday and charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter. She made a bond of $15,000 and was released, only to be re-arrested and charged criminal homicide. This time her bond was set at $250,000 and she remains jailed. Her first appearance in General Sessions Court is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4.

"I stabbed him," Melinda Campbell allegedly told Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Drew Binkley when he responded to 1970 Fayetteville Highway about 5 p.m. Saturday.

"After I was able to locate the residence (at Embers East Trailer Park)," Binkley wrote, "I knocked on the door and a female ... started ... yelling for me to come inside and that her husband was in need of help."

Binkley found Paul Campbell "slumped over in a recliner," still breathing, and covered in sweat. It was at this point the deputy asked Melinda Campbell what was wrong with the man and she responded: "I stabbed him."

When he pulled up Paul's shirt, Binkley saw "one puncture would that did have fresh blood around it."

Binkley and Deputy Lucas Holton then told Emergency Medical Service personnel it was safe for them to enter the home. After they evaluated Paul Campbell, EMS decided he needed to be taken to Vanderbilt by air ambulance, removed him from the house, and transported him to a place where the helicopter could land.

Binkley then proceeded to question Melinda Campbell.

According to Binkley's report, she told him Paul was intoxicated that afternoon, but continued to drink whiskey. The couple were waiting for a pizza to cook and started arguing when she told him she wanted a divorce.

Paul threatened to kill her, Melinda said, and she grabbed a fixed blade knife out of her purse and stabbed him three times in the arm. She left him sitting at the kitchen table and tried to get help from neighbors, but there was no one around, so Melinda drove to a gas station and called her daughter to come and get her.

Once they got back to the house, Melinda asked her daughter to "get her father and to take him home," but she was unable to do this and Melinda went back inside, telling Paul to "get the *** out of her house," to which he allegedly responded, "I'm not leaving and I'll kill you!"

At this point, Melinda told Binkley she "lost it," grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and stabbed Paul while he was sitting in the recliner. Then, she said, she "freaked out" and pressed the panic button on her Medic Alert.

Melinda Campbell made a verbal statement to Binkley, and later, at the Sheriff's Department, made a statement to Detective Chad Bass which he wrote for her and she approved as her own.