published Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Cleveland man charged in death by overdose

A Cleveland, Tenn., man has been charged with murder in the overdose death of a McMinn County man last year, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

In a news release, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said Matt Campbell, 29, was indicted by the McMinn County grand jury on charges of supplying illegal prescription pills to Jason Hampton, of Niota, Tenn.

Hampton, 33, died Dec. 4 from an overdose, Helm said.

Campbell is charged with second-degree murder, sale and delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

When someone dies of an overdose it can be hard to prosecute, because it’s a hard case to prove, Helm said.

“It’s very difficult in these type of cases to prove in a very direct link that these pills ... caused this overdose,” she said.

But in this case, investigators had evidence to link Campbell directly to Hampton’s death, Helm said.

Three others who the TBI said were with Hampton on the night he died also were charged.

Marvin Collins, 41; his brother, Randall Collins, 19; and Carrie Beth Robinson, 20, all of Athens, Tenn., were charged with facilitating the sale and delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, Helm said.

All four were booked into the McMinn County Jail. Campbell’s bond is set at $250,000, Marvin Collins’ bond at $20,000 and Randall Collins’ at $10,000. Robinson was released on a $20,000 bond, Helm said.

The investigation was a joint effort between the TBI and the Athens Police Department, she said.

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