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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane woman accused of killing roommate’s boyfriend enters not guilty plea

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

Melissa Martin (right) appears alongside Spokane County public defender Betty Craipo during a first appearance in Spokane Superior Court in front of Judge Jeffrey Smith via video feed from the Spokane County Jail on Feb. 24, 2020. Martin was charged with second-degree murder related to domestic violence. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Melissa Martin (right) appears alongside Spokane County public defender Betty Craipo during a first appearance in Spokane Superior Court in front of Judge Jeffrey Smith via video feed from the Spokane County Jail on Feb. 24, 2020. Martin was charged with second-degree murder related to domestic violence. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

A 36-year-old woman accused of killing her roommate’s boyfriend last week claims she did so because he raped her.

Melissa Lee Ann Martin appeared in court Monday afternoon on second-degree murder charges following her Friday arrest. She pleaded not guilty and is being held in Spokane County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

On Thursday, police were dispatched to 1644 E. Rockwell Ave. after receiving a call describing suspicious circumstances. The caller was a friend of Martin who she called to help her dispose of the victim’s body, court records say.

When police arrived at the house they saw several “floor coverings” hanging on the chain-link fence in the front yard, according to court documents. The air smelled of burning plastic, and police found smoldering trash and bedding with blood stains on it in a fire pit in the backyard.

Police found the body of Juan Campos in a basement freezer. He had been shot in the back of the head, according to court documents.

Martin told police that she and Campos were doing drugs. Martin said she passed out and woke up to Campos raping her. Martin told police she went upstairs and told her roommates about the assault.

Later that afternoon, Martin told police she went to Campos’ room to get heroin and he groped her.

When Campos turned to weigh the drugs, Martin told police she shot him in the back of the head.

Campos’ girlfriend told police she had left the house after fighting with Campos, and that the only people at home with him were Martin and Brian Riley.

When Campos’ girlfriend came home, Martin told her Campos “raped me and I hurt him,” according to court documents.

Martin told police she then hid the body in the freezer with the help of Riley, who was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree attempted murder for an unrelated shooting in Spokane Valley.

Martin told police she and Riley used bleach to clean up the scene and set bloodstained items on fire. When Martin was told that other witnesses had spoken to the police, she said that she had lied and that Riley had used her gun to shoot Campos, court documents show.

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