MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Yelling "police search warrant," officers repeatedly identified themselves as they crashed through the front door of a house during a chaotic raid that ended with the fatal shooting of a Memphis officer, a prosecutor said Monday at the murder trial of the man charged in the killing.
But Treveno Campbell only heard loud noises — a cacophony that led him to think his house was being broken into in a home invasion — and he did not know he was shooting at police when he started firing wildly in attempts to scare the unknown intruders, his lawyer said during closing arguments.
The sequestered jury deliberated for about six hours on a verdict for Campbell, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Officer Martoiya Lang, without reaching a decision. The panel will reconvene Tuesday morning.
Lang and her fellow Organized Crime Unit officers were serving a warrant as they searched for a suspected drug leader in the raid on Dec. 14, 2012.
Lang, a 32-year-old mother of four, was the first female officer to be killed in the line of duty in Memphis. She was shot in the left shoulder and was pulled out of the house by a fellow officer before dying.
Campbell, 25, also is charged with attempted first-degree murder of five other officers involved in the raid. The group, known as Team 6, had safely served more than 200 warrants in 2012 before the deadly raid, according to testimony in the trial.
Officers testified that they used a battering ram to break down the door of the house Campbell was renting in Memphis. They had secured a warrant for a man nicknamed "Lil Toot," who was suspected of dealing cocaine.
Officer William Vrooman, who was shot in the raid and survived, testified that he loudly yelled, "police search warrant" several times during the raid. Officer Galvin Takashima, who was standing outside the house to secure the perimeter, said he heard officers yelling the phrase.
"How many times?" prosecutor Alanda Dwyer asked.
"A lot," Takashima responded.
As officers wearing protective vests marked "Police" made their way through the house, Lang stepped into a hallway and walked in front of a doorway that led to Campbell's bedroom, according to testimony. She was struck by a bullet from Campbell's 9mm handgun. The weapon had a high capacity magazine — he fired 11 times, testimony showed.
In Campbell's defense, attorney William Massey said Campbell had come home tired from working at FedEx and was asleep when he heard a loud "boom" as someone crashed through the front door. Campbell grabbed his gun and started shooting, trying to frighten the intruders in an attempt at self-defense, Massey said.
"I didn't know what was going on," Campbell testified Sunday. "A whole lot of racket. I was scared to death."
Evidence showed that Campbell was not mentioned in the warrant and officers never found "Lil Toot" or any cocaine. Instead, they found cash, a large amount of marijuana, bags used to package marijuana and scales to weigh it.
Campbell said he had his hands up when he was shot three times by an officer. But Sgt. Darryl Dotson testified that Campbell was pointing a gun at him when he shot Campbell.
Campbell faces up to life in prison if convicted on the first-degree murder charge in Lang's death. Jurors could convict on a lesser charge, including second-degree murder, reckless homicide or criminally negligent homicide.
Campbell also faces charges of possessing marijuana with the intent to sell and using a firearm while committing a felony.