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Gun-Wielding Neighbor Attacks Family of Barking Dog in Chesapeake, Virginia

Neighbor charged in slaying of woman, her son

The Virginian-Pilot - Written by John Hopkins - July 22, 2004

CHESAPEAKE - A man faces capital murder and other charges in the shooting deaths Tuesday of two of his neighbors and the wounding of a third.

"It was a long-standing dispute that got out of hand last night," Christi Golden, a police spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

Douglas Edward Campbell, 51, of the 4100 block of South Military Highway, was arrested after the shootings and faces a number of charges, including capital murder.

Campbell was the next-door neighbor of the victims in the Plantation Mobile Home Park, located in an industrial area off South Military Highway.

The two people killed were identified as Richard H. Miller, 32, and his mother, Gail Miller, 59. Both lived in the mobile home where they were shot.

Police did not release the name of the surviving victim but said her wounds were not life-threatening. No others were wounded in the attack.

Gail Miller's mother, who did not wish to be named, said the shootings were the result of a barking dog and a feud with a neighbor.

"He's a dog-hater and a kids-hater," she said as she stood outside the home where her daughter and grandson were killed the night before. "That is what this is all about."

About eight people were at the family's home when the shooting began, the victims' family members said. Some fled to avoid being shot.

Chesapeake police were sent to the mobile-home park shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday and found three members of the family wounded. The victims were taken to local hospitals, where two of them later died, police said.

Campbell's home is no more than 15 yards away from the victim's trailer. He lived alone in a house that sits off a dirt road at the rear of the park. Campbell's fishing rods, truck and small boat filled his yard. A wooden pole between the two homes was adorned with a collection of deer antlers and raccoon tails.

At the victims' home, the brown chow that family members said was at the center of the dispute that led to the killings remained in its doghouse Wednesday.

Campbell faces charges of capital murder, malicious wounding, use of a firearm while committing malicious wounding and use of a firearm while committing murder.

In 1995, he was convicted of DUI and, in 1997, of carrying a concealed weapon, according to court records.

Grand jury set to hear accused neighbor's case

The Virginian - PilotOnline.Com - Written by CINDY CLAYTON - September 16, 2004

CHESAPEAKE - A grand jury next month will hear the capital murder case of a 51-year-old man accused of killing two people and wounding a third in July at a Military Highway mobile home park.

Douglas E. Campbell is charged with killing Richard H. Miller, 32, and his mother, Gail Miller, 59. He also faces one count of malicious wounding and three gun charges.

Commonwealth's Attorney Randall D. Smith said he hasn't decided whether prosecutors will seek a life sentence in the case or the death penalty.

At a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a General District Court judge heard emotional testimony from Tenna Miller, who was wounded during the July 20 shooting rampage.

Miller and several other family members were inside the trailer in the Plantation Mobile Home Park when the shooting started, she told Judge David L. Williams. The first shot sounded like a car backfiring, but the second blasted through the window and hit her in the arm, she said.

Outside, Campbell had fired a shotgun loaded with buckshot, Miller said.

When she went outside to see what was happening, she saw him loading the weapon, she testified.

Campbell threatened her, she said.

"Did you try to duck or run?'' asked Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney D.J. Hansen.

"No,'' Miller replied.

"He just pointed the gun at you and shot...?'' Hansen asked.

"Mmm Hmm,'' Miller responded.

The second shot also hit her arm.

Campbell also fired on Miller's nephew, Richard, and her sister-in-law, Gail. The mother and son died later at a hospital.

Campbell was arrested and later confessed to the shootings, according to testimony.

"He looked at me and said, 'I should have killed all of them," Detective John Crimmins testified during the hearing.

Miller's daughter and two grandchildren were hiding in a bathroom during the shootings and other family members ran or took cover to avoid the gunfire.

Initially, police said that the violence was sparked by a dispute over a barking dog, but Miller and her family said Wednesday that the dog hadn't been barking.

The family has known Campbell for about a decade, Miller said.

Through the years, Campbell had gone fishing with Richard Miller and the two men had built a fence together, several family members said.

Now, Tenna Miller said, she suffers flashbacks and can't watch movies or television shows that feature gunfire.

Doctors were able to save her arm, which was partly shattered by the buckshot, she said. It will be permanently disfigured and is now held together by metal plates and screws.

"I hope the commonwealth can take him and put him away for years,'' Miller said. "He's destroyed so many lives, it's just not fair.''

This page is part of the Violence in the News,
which is a component of the Barking Dog News and