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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Woman pleads guilty to killing roommate’s boyfriend; will be sentenced next month for manslaughter

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 28, 2022

The Spokane County Courthouse is pictured.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
The Spokane County Courthouse is pictured. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A 38-year-old woman will spend more than five years in prison for killing her roommate’s boyfriend if a judge accepts the sentencing recommendation of a plea deal next month.

Melissa Lee Ann Martin pleaded guilty to an amended count of second-degree manslaughter Friday in Spokane County Superior Court. She originally pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in February 2020.

The recommended sentence of 63 months of confinement includes the high end of the 21- to 27-month standard sentence range and a 36-month firearm enhancement. She would be given credit for time served under the recommendation by the prosecution and defense.

The recommendation also includes 18 months of community custody when Martin is released from prison. The maximum penalty in Washington for second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony, is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

On Feb. 20, 2020, Spokane 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 documents said.

Officers found the body of Juan Campos in a basement freezer. He had been shot in the back of the head, documents said.

Martin told police that she and Campos were doing drugs. Martin said she passed out and woke up to Campos raping her.

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.

Martin told police she then hid the body in the freezer with the help of a man.

Judge Rachelle Anderson allowed Martin to stay out of jail until her Feb. 25 sentencing. Martin previously posted a $150,000 bond.

Family and friends of Martin and Campos were present in the courtroom and on Zoom Friday.

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