Campbell pleads guilty to DWI causing death of another, leaving the scene; sentencing in November

Steve Chapman

Lerenda Campbell pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, resulting in the death of another person, and leaving the scene of an accident on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Lawrence County Justice Center. She faces up to 22 years in prison if she receives the maximum penalty on each count, 15 years for the DWI and seven years for leaving the scene, and serves her sentences consecutively.
According to a probable cause statement filed in the case, two Mt. Vernon police officers were dispatched to what was then Sherry’s Tavern on Mt. Vernon Boulevard in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 22, 2018, after a disturbance was reported and found a person performing CPR on Nichole Barker, of Mt. Vernon. One of the officers took over performing CPR until an ambulance arrived; it was then determined that Barker, 42, was dead.
 The investigating officer arrived at the scene and spoke with one of the other officers, who told him a fight between Campbell and Barker took place in the parking lot after the tavern closed for the evening, and that Campbell ran over Barker and then left. Meanwhile, a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested Campbell for driving while intoxicated and brought her back to the Mt. Vernon Police Department for questioning.
After being read her Miranda rights, Campbell said she was at the tavern with another person when Barker approached her and said she was going to fight her. Campbell said after the tavern closed, she and the other person were leaving when Barker attacked the other person.
Campbell then said she was able to get into the driver’s side of her vehicle and the other person got into the passenger’s side, but Barker continued to strike at him through the open passenger window. She said she backed her vehicle up in an effort to get away from Barker, but backed into another vehicle.
Campbell said her passenger was telling her to drive off; she also said she thought she might have hit someone as she was leaving the scene.
Campbell was given a breathalyzer test at the Mt. Vernon Police Department; test results showed her blood alcohol content level to be .151, almost twice the legal limit.
In her petition to plead guilty, Campbell stated she “drove while intoxicated and unintentionally ran over a person, and she died.”
Campbell, 37, has been free on a $75,000 bond since June 4, 2018. According to court documents, she will continue to remain free on bond until her sentencing on Friday, Nov. 15.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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