Chatham Superior Court judge denies bond for two-time murder suspect
This column is part of a weekly round-up of notable grand jury indictments and court decisions, following through on cases reported by Savannah Morning News public safety reporter Drew Favakeh. If there are cases you’re curious about, email Drew at AFavakeh@savannahnow.com.
Shawn Campbell, two-time murder suspect, denied bond
On Oct. 28, Shawn Campbell was denied bond by Superior Court Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert for the same reasons his bond was denied on May 31: He was deemed a “significant threat or danger to person(s), to the community, or to any property in the community.”
Campbell has been charged with two murders within the past year. Campbell was 21 years old at the time of both murders.
On March 21, Campbell was arrested by the Savannah Police Department and charged with murder.
He was incarcerated at the Chatham County Detention Center from March 21 through April 26. The following day, April 27, SPD charged Campbell in the Feb. 23 murder of Timothy Lewis, 42, on the 4200 block of New Castle Street around 10:30 p.m.
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According to a bond order, Campbell and a person exchanged words at a “celebration of life event.” Lewis assisted Campbell in leaving the event. When Campbell returned later to look for his cell phone, he shot Lewis.
With a warrant out for his arrest, SPD arrested Campbell on May 6 and he was booked into Chatham County Detention Center.
On Oct. 13, Campbell’s attorney, Gregory Crawford, filed a motion for a bond, stating his client was not guilty, not likely to flee and further, needed to be released to assist him in defending the allegations.
On Oct. 25, Campbell was charged by SPD with DUI and improper lane usage. It was at least the third time he had been charged with driving under the influence of drugs — the first came on Aug. 2, 2018; the second on Oct. 22, 2021. In that incident, he was also charged with hit and run resulting in serious injury or death, but on Nov. 3, 2021, the Superior Court disposed of that case.
Adolfo Mitchell, Flacos Tacos owner, allowed to remove ankle monitor
On Nov. 7, the Superior Court granted a request to remove Adolfo Mitchell’s ankle monitor.
Mitchell is well known in Savannah for being the owner of Flacos Tacos, a popular, Pooler-based Mexican Taqueria restaurant. The Effingham County resident founded the restaurant in 2015. Since then, he and his sister Mary Lou Michelle have opened four more restaurants.
Mitchell also is known for his criminal history.
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On April 24, 2019, Mitchell was indicted on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of firearm during a commission of a felony, driving under the influence (drugs), speeding, using a minor for illicit transactions, two counts of furnishing a pistol to a minor, and two counts of possession a firearm by a convicted felon.
Those charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on March 7, 2018. Mitchell was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol Officer for going 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. Smelling marijuana, Mitchell was pulled from the vehicle — along with a 16-year-old girl. In the center console of Mitchell’s car, the GSP agent found seven ounces of marijuana. Stashed underneath the marijuana were two pistols.
In a bond hearing held on May 10, 2019, GSP Agent Gideon testified that he tried to speak with the 16-year-old girl at the scene, but she was hesitant. She believed Mitchell to be part of a Hispanic gang, and he told her that if she ever spoke with law enforcement, he would kill her. The 16-year-old was an employee for one of Mitchell’s businesses and trafficked marijuana for Mitchell on the side, Agent Gideon testified.
On March 8, 2018, a judge granted Mitchell a $5,000 bond — apparently without knowing about the alleged threats.
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Prior to the March 2018 incident, the Chatham Counter Narcotics team had been investigating Mitchell for drug trafficking, according to Gideon’s testimony during the same May 2019 bond hearing. In 2016, Gideon testified that he had spoken to another young woman who claimed Mitchell had threatened her. She was incarcerated in Virginia, sentenced to 23 years for, she told Gideon, trafficking one kilogram of methamphetamine for Mitchell. She told Gideon that several female inmates assaulted her. After the assault, she learned that Mitchell called for the assault.
Prior to that indictment, Mitchell had three felonies on his record, all out of California. In 2009, he was charged with possession of controlled substances. In 2007, he was charged with possession of controlled substances for sale. In 2006, he was charged with threatening with intent to terrorize.
The judge granted Mitchell $8,000 bond. As part of the bond conditions, the judge ruled Mitchell make no contact with the two women and enroll and participate in a drug and alcohol counseling program within seven days.
On Oct. 30, 2019, Mitchell was indicted for trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, felony offenses that took place, respectively, in February and May 2016.
He was denied bond on Nov. 22, 2019 and April 23, 2022. But, on Feb. 17, 2021, Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbott granted Mitchell $25,000 bail. As part of the bail conditions, Abbott ruled that Mitchell must live at the drug and rehabilitation center, Bridge of Hope in Stapleton, GA, for nine months, during which time he would also have to participate in its daily recovery programs. His sister said Mitchell had been dealing with a substance abuse issue himself, according to court filings.
Since then, Mitchell also was required to wear an electronic ankle monitor at all times while on bond.
Upon completion of the Bridges of Hope Program, he was directed to live with his mother and sister in Rincon, where he would be placed on house arrest. He could only leave the house if he was attending substance abuse programs, health care appointments, meetings with his lawyer, church or court proceedings.
According to his attorney Tom Withers, Mitchell fulfilled all those conditions, including paying $330 per month for the ankle monitor.
A plea hearing is scheduled for Mitchell on Feb. 17, 2023.
Drew Favakeh is the public safety reporter for Savannah Morning News. You can reach him at AFavakeh@savannahnow.com.