Man sentenced to 40 years in prison for 2020 murder of ex-girlfriend he was living with

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Tuesday, April 25, 2023
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man who shot and killed his ex-girlfriend while she let him live with her between jobs was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Monday, the Harris County District Attorney's office announced.

Jurors convicted 34-year-old Corey Lewis Campbell of murder on Friday after a two-week trial in the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Darlene Solis on April 28, 2020.

According to the DA's office, Campbell and Solis dated on and off for about three years while Campbell worked in construction jobs across the country.

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He had reportedly just finished a job in Utah and moved in with Solis temporarily while he decided his next move.

The DA's office said Solis was dating another man at the time, but wanted to help out her ex-boyfriend.

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It was during that time that Campbell reportedly shot Solis four times, killing her, while the two were alone in her apartment on West Little York.

Investigators said Campbell left the .40-caliber pistol he used in the shooting under the bed and drove to North Carolina -- where he was from and where his mother still lived.

When he got to North Carolina, officials said Campbell left his car in a Walmart parking lot, and his mother picked him up.

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Back in Houston, investigators said Solis had not been heard from for two days. That's when her mother, who had previously been married to a Harris County sheriff's deputy, asked her ex-husband to check on Solis.

The deputy was on patrol at the time and was wearing a body camera. The DA's office said he found his step-daughter's body in the bathroom.

He testified during the two-week trial, and the body-camera footage was used as evidence.

Houston police detectives reportedly talked to a witness whom Campbell spoke to in North Carolina. It appeared Campbell confessed to the witness because they knew details about the case that were not public, including where the murder weapon was in the apartment and the gun's caliber and brand.

It was then that Campbell was arrested and later brought back to Houston to face trial.

The DA's office said he will have to serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Many members of Solis' large extended family were in the courtroom every day of the trial, officials said. After the sentencing, jurors heard an impact statement from her mother and a letter from one of her brothers, who had been present for the trial but had to return to his job in the Army.