Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Campus Officers, Immediately Gets Life Sentence

Alexander Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Bridgewater (Virginia) College Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson

A man who had been scheduled for trial in the shooting deaths of two popular police officers at a Virginia college in 2022 instead pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.

Alexander Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Bridgewater College Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson. Campbell also pleaded guilty to two counts of using a firearm during a felony.

A judge in Rockingham County Circuit Court accepted the terms of a plea agreement and handed down two life sentences, plus six years in prison. A trial had been scheduled for April, WUSA reports.

The shooting happened Feb. 1, 2022, when the officers were called to an area outside the college’s Memorial Hall on a report of a suspicious man on campus.

At a hearing later that year where a judge determined Campbell was mentally fit to stand trial, a student described seeing Painter and Jefferson confront Campbell, who then fired several shots. The judge also heard from an officer who arrested Campbell. The officer said Campbell appeared to be coherent and wanted to know the officers’ names so he could apologize to their families.

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