Jury Instructions Challenged In Motorcycle Gang Murder
The Law Tribune previews interesting or important cases most weeks when the state Appellate Court or state Supreme Court are in session.
Case: State v. Kevin Patrick Campbell
Court: Connecticut Appellate Court
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 12
Time: 10 a.m.
Attorneys: Timothy J. Sugrue; Moira Buckley
Summary: A man who murdered another member of his Torrington motorcycle club is appealing his conviction, claiming, among other things, that the trial judge made an improper jury charge depriving him of his right to a fair trial.
Background: The Forbidden Motorcycle Club (FMC) operated from a clubhouse in the Burrville section of Torrington. As of June 2008, the club had five members, all of whom were club officers. Roland Lagasse, a 51-year-old truck driver and father of two, was the president. Kevin Patrick Campbell, 58, a former Marine, was the vice president.
Lagasse and Campbell became good friends. Campbell previously had his left leg amputated above the knee following a motorcycle accident. After that, he was unable to ride a regular, two-wheeler. Instead, he road a three-wheel "trike," which has an automatic transmission. Campbell walks with a prosthetic leg.
Every Friday at 7 p.m., FMC members would meet at their Torrington clubhouse. On June 27, 2008, there was an argument between Campbell's brother, Jim, and Lagasse over a decision to allow another man to join the club. So Lagasse banged on the table and ordered Jim Campbell outside.