MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Mississippi teen had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder two years after his 12-year-old playmate was burned to death.
Michael Campbell was just thirteen years old when his friend Gaines Corker was killed in a fire that started in a shed at a home on Arkabutla Dam Road.
The Tate County Sheriff said the boys had been playing together in that shed.
Campbell was charged with capital murder and tried as an adult.
Coker’s parents, Meg and John Frank Coker released this statement:
“Yesterday afternoon, May 18, 2023, Lane Campbell pled guilty to the 2nd-degree murder of my son, Gaines Coker. His sentencing came to a total of 40 years which will require him to serve the first 20 years in prison, then 5 years of supervised probation, and the remaining 15 years of unsupervised probation. In full transparency, I don’t like this outcome! The bottom line is that no amount of time is enough. Our Gaines is dead because someone else made a choice that killed him. The only comfort I have today is that I can finally speak the truth out loud after almost two years of knowing it and having to stay silent… My Gaines was murdered.”
The Tate County Sheriff’s Department says Campbell was given a 40-year sentence with 20 years suspended.