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Stamps man gets life in prison for wife's death

A south Arkansas man faces life in prison after a jury convicted him of hiring a hitman to kill his wife.
NASHVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A south Arkansas man faces life in prison after a jury convicted him of hiring a hitman to kill his wife.

A jury deliberated for about an hour before convicting David Camp, 63, of Stamps of being an accomplice to first-degree murder in the Memorial Day 2008 shooting death of Robin Camp.

Prosecutors say Camp hired Harry Surber, 38, to fatally shoot Robin Camp while she worked at a dollar store in Nashville.

Prosecutors said David Camp first wanted his wife only injured because she wasn't taking good enough care of him after eye surgery. But when he learned that his wife had placed a call to a black man, he ordered her dead, according to prosecutor Bryan Chesshir.

"The kicker is, she never even met the man," Chesshir told the jury of the man Camp thought his wife was seeing. That man, known as "Butter," was actually in prison, Chesshir said.

"The racism and pride is what motivated this crime," Chesshir said.

David Camp's attorney Paul Hoover told the jury not to convict his client, who is white, just because of the racial epithets he reportedly used, according to testimony.

"You may see him as a bigot," Hoover told the jurors, three of whom were black. But convicting him on that alone would be "unfair," he said.

Surber faces a first-degree murder charge, and David Camp's sister, 75-year-old JoAnn Hicks, will be tried later this year on a charge of being an accomplice to murder. Authorities have said Surber will avoid the death penalty if convicted because he cooperated with prosecutors. Surber has admitted fatally shooting Robin Camp.

"No one wins in reality. We now have justice, but no one wins," said Robin Camp's father, Toney Davis of McNeil.

 

©2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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