Victim's daughter files lawsuit against Campbell, wife

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com
The daughter of a Kingsport man killed during a fatal domestic dispute involving an estranged Carter County couple has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit in Carter County Circuit Court.
Filed on Friday by Heather Robinette -- identified as the daughter and administratrix of the estate of her father, Jerry David Robinette -- seeks $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $4.5 million in punitive damages against defendants Peggy Campbell and the late Roger Campbell.
According to an incident report from the Carter County Sheriff's Department, Roger Campbell and Peggy Campbell had been legally separated for eight months. Roger Campbell had been living at Overlook Apartments, Milligan Highway, when he came to the Lynn Valley residence armed with a .357-caliber Magnum and a 9 mm handgun on Sept. 29, 2002.
The sheriff's department reported Roger Campbell entered the residence where he found his estranged wife and Jerry Robinette sitting on the couch and opened fire on them. Peggy Campbell left the residence and was attempting to get help when Roger Campbell shot her at least one more time on the neighbor's porch, according to the CCSD. Peggy Campbell was shot a total of three times. Robinette died as the result of gunshout wounds he sustained.
According to the CCSD reports, after shooting his estranged wife, Roger Campbell stepped off the neighbor's porch and turned a handgun on himself. Officers found him dead in the neighbor's yard upon arrival. Divorce papers between the Campbells had been filed in Circuit Court on March 22, 2002.
Heather Robinette's complaint alleges Peggy Campbell " ... knew or should have known of the hazardous and unreasonably dangerous conditions existing on the premises with respect to her estranged husband, defendant Roger Campbell, and his propensity for violent action in and around her presence and on the premises."
Peggy Campbell is the principal at Happy Valley Elementary School, and Roger Campbell was a third grade teacher at Valley Forge Elementary School. Robinette was a supervisor with the Tennessee Valley Authority in Carter County. He had been divorced for approximately 10 years, according to the sheriff's department.
The sheriff's department had also said shortly after the incident that Robinette and Peggy Campbell had been dating for a short time before the shooting. However, Sheriff John Henson later stated the nature of the relationship between Peggy Campbell and Robinette was unclear.
The lawsuit seeks an administrator to be appointed for Roger Campbell and a jury be empaneled to try the case.