The jury deciding the fate of a former student charged with the slaying of his girlfriend could not come to a decision in its nine days of deliberation.
An announcement was issued on Dec. 15 that the jury was unable to reach a verdict for Isaac Campbell. According to District Attorney Steve Ipson, the jury was hung with 10 votes for guilty and two for not guilty on a second-degree murder charge.
Because of this, the matter will be set for pretrial on Jan. 12.
“The pretrial is on both the murder case and the marijuana case,” Ipson said in an email.
Campbell was charged for the murder of his girlfriend, Liya “Jessie” Lu, who was also a PCC student. Lu went missing on August 11, 2007 and was found later that following month stashed away in a recycling bin filled with kitty litter at the house of Michael Darby, a friend of Campbell’s.
Because of the state of mummification, no cause of death could be identified. Ipson theorized that Lu may have been locked in a choke hold during a confrontation with Campbell, causing death within 10-30 seconds. Public Defender Jim Duffy contended, however, that Campbell shoving Lu into a futon after being bitten by her was a catalyst to her death, caused by a neurological disorder Lu had sought medical attention for.
But despite arguments, Campbell admits to going at extreme lengths to hide Lu’s body and conceal any evidence of what may have happened to her.
Following her death, Campbell seized Lu’s phone and impersonated her and sent back replies to text messages she was receiving. He would later stash her body in a recycling bin filled with ice, and then later with kitty litter and hid her body at Darby’s house. He then got rid of her belongings from his apartment and fled to Minnesota after he found out that Lu’s body had been discovered.
According to Campbell, the refusal to call 9-1-1 after her death was because of the amount of marijuana at his house. With a pound of orange diesel marijuana worth an estimated $4,000 and a history of bad encounters with law enforcement, Campbell said he was sure he would be blamed for her death.