As the title suggests, ID’s ‘Fear Thy Neighbor’ is a true-crime series that delves deep into those harrowing offenses where people who live right beside one another end up taking their quarrels way too far. With both recreations and exclusive interviews from those involved, it actually emphasizes how seemingly petty feuds can spiral into violent situations that no one could’ve ever imagined. Thus, of course, its season 4 episode 9, ‘Mountain of Madness,’ examining the homicide of Tim Newman, is no different. So now, if you wish to know the details of the same, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Tim Newman Die?
At the age of 53, Timothy “Tim” Newman of Great Falls, Montana, had created a good life for himself as a family man and electrician, unaware that everything would be snatched away from him in the blink of an eye. After all, on October 18, 2013, when officers responded to a 911 call and arrived at a remote area about 30 miles from Augusta, they found the outdoorsman and conservationist shot to death on one side of a property fence. He’d taken two bullets — one to the back that severed his spinal cord, only to exit from near his armpit, and another that merely grazed his hand and chest.
Who Killed Tim Newman?
Tim Newman was slain over a years-long dispute concerning access to public land in his rural Montana district by none other than his neighbor, then-67-year-old Joseph Glenn Campbell. The duo allegedly used to be friends at one point, but that changed once the latter bought 300 acres of land and began putting up fences for privacy, which blocked access to key trails that area residents had been using to get to public grounds for years.
There had been several conflicts about this matter for some time, with over 25 calls involving Joseph to the police from 2000 to 2013, but none of them went as far as what transpired on that fateful day in October. According to records, most of the previous calls included allegations that Joseph was threatening community members with a firearm, a fact that even drove them to write a letter to the Attorney’s Office in 2009. “His actions [of intimidation] are criminal,” the letter read, in part, “they are escalating; we hope that you don’t sit by until the brandished gun is fired.”
Unfortunately, though, the weapon was put to use before any severe legal action was taken, and even though Joseph claimed self-defense, it still led to Tim losing his life. We should mention that Joseph’s wife was the one who dialed 911 that day to report the confrontation and then the shooting. As per Joseph’s account, Tim was looking for a fight when he came over — allegedly behaving erratically, pushing to cut the locks on his fences, and pointing a .357-caliber revolver right at him — so his survival instincts kicked in.
Joseph stated that he couldn’t stop himself from grabbing or firing his own gun first, adding that his initial shot nicked his neighbor, whereas his second went through his back as he fell. However, as per the officials, Tim was first shot in the back as he was walking/running away from Joseph, followed by a second bullet that grazed him, leading them to arrest Joseph and later indict him on first-degree premeditated murder.
Where is Joseph Campbell Now?
Because of the varying interpretations on who was responsible for the confrontation, Joseph Campbell’s murder trial in early 2016 ended in a mistrial when the jury deadlocked after 13 hours of deliberation. He was scheduled to face court on the same charge again in October, yet in mid-May that year, Joseph changed his plea to no contest to a reduced count of negligent homicide. In other words, he didn’t admit guilt to deliberate homicide but instead accepted the declaration of guilt for being the triggerman. Therefore, Joseph was sentenced to serve 20 years, with all of them suspended, that is, 20 years on probation.
Along with the suspended sentence, Joseph was also banned from ever carrying a gun again and ordered to sell his property to stay at least 10 miles away from the Falls Creek Subdivision, where the shooting occurred. He also settled the wrongful death lawsuit against him from Tim’s widow for $1 million in April 2016 itself. The now-75-year-old did file a motion for his probationary period to end early in 2019 – after just three years – but it doesn’t look like his request has been successful until now. In short, Joseph is still under the watchful eye of officials in the State of Montana.