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April 10, 2013

Two facing first-degree robbery appear in court

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

Two suspects facing charges in an alleged robbery appeared in Knox County District Court Tuesday.

Shannon Lee Morgan and Michael Dewayne Gambrel, of Knox County, appeared before Judge W.L. “Skip” Hammons for their preliminary hearings.

Both men face charges in connection with the robbery and assault of a Knox County resident.

Morgan is represented by Attorney Jeremy Bryant, while Gambrel’s defense attorney is Randy Jewell.

Neither defendant entered a plea Tuesday — Hammons continued their hearings until April 23.

Knox County Sheriff John Pickard said Deputy Claude Hudson was dispatched to the Knox County Hospital emergency room last week to respond to a report of a man being assaulted and robbed.

The victim, James Mills, told deputies he had been driven to an unknown location by two men who had befriended him earlier in the day. Mills said when they arrived at the location, they began to beat him with their hands, feet and a wrench — and then they placed a pistol in his mouth.

The suspects then stole money, his cell phone and his wallet. Mills told deputies he was left to walk back out from the location and received help once he arrived on KY 6.

Pickard said Mills was treated for wounds to his face as well as a broken nose.

Both men were already jailed in the Knox County Detention Center under other charges — Gambrel and Morgan were both charged with public intoxication under a controlled substance, and Morgan was also charged with theft by unlawful taking.

That’s where deputies made contact with Morgan and Gambrel concerning the robbery.

Pickard said deputies obtained statements from the accused, who said they robbed Mills because they knew he had a large amount of cash on him, and that Mills refused to give them $10 to take him home.

Both men face first-degree robbery charges.

In a separate, unrelated case, two parents face charges of first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Steven A. Campbell and Wannetta A. Campbell were arrested by the Kentucky State Police and appeared in district court for their preliminary hearings.

According to state police testimony, troopers and deputies went to the residence after receiving calls from neighbors reporting children who reside with the Campbell’s were out in the neighborhood “asking people for food.”

The trooper explained that when he got to the home, he made first contact with Wannetta Campbell, who agreed to allow the trooper in the home. The trooper said he followed her to a back bedroom, where Steven Campbell was discovered “passed out on a futon” with a child next to him — and “an active meth lab on the coffee table.”

Once he was questioned, the trooper said Steven Campbell admitted to making meth “for the past three months.”

The trooper also said Wannetta Campbell “said she knew it was going on,” and that she admitted to smoking meth.

He added the home itself was “unlivable” for the kids, stating there was a mattress on the living room floor and old food was laying out.

The Campbells were arrested March 30 all the children in the home were removed from the residence.

During the trooper’s testimony, Wannetta Campbell continuously made physical motions denying what was said.

Both Campbells will now face a Knox County grand jury, scheduled for April 26.

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