Published 3:01 PM EDT Oct 9, 2019
A California man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for murdering his roommate whose body was discovered in the wall of their apartment six years after she was reported missing.
Randolph Garbutt, 47, pleaded guilty last month to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Raven Campbell, 37, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Campbell, who had a developmental disability, was reported missing in June 2009 after leaving her apartment in Lomita, California, prosecutors said.
Her body wasn't found until 2015 when family members received a tip that the woman might be buried in a closet behind the stairs of the apartment she lived in, the Los Angeles Times reported. Neighbors told the LA Times that people in the building complained of a "terrible smell," and police said the family that was living in the apartment was shocked by the gruesome discovery.
Police excavated Campbell's body from behind a wall, and the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head. Prosecutors said Garbutt beat Campbell to death with a hammer.
Garbutt was arrested seven months later, according to Los Angeles County jail records. Some of Campbell's family members said the sentence was too short, given the severity of the crime, the Daily Breeze reported.
"To place her in a wall, the irony is this man will probably only do about as much time as she was while she was in the wall,” Campbell’s sister, Cynthia Campbell Kemp, said in court. “That’s the crime. The punishment is not just, but we’re just going to have to accept it.”
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