joseph campbell mugshot

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man sentenced to 20 years of probation after pleading no contest to negligent homicide in the shooting death of a neighbor is seeking early release from state supervision.

Prosecutors oppose the Oct. 4. motion filed by Joseph Campbell, 73, who shot and killed Timothy Newman in October 2013 in a feud over land access.

Campbell was charged with deliberate homicide, but a jury could not reach a verdict. Campbell then entered the plea agreement.

"It seems inconceivable that the defendant can take a man's life and serve less than three years on probation and possibly be released from supervision," Assistant Attorney General Mary Cochenour wrote in the state's response to Campbell's motion.

A district court judge in Helena has not ruled on the request, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Campbell's motion argues that a 2017 law allows offenders to seek early release from probation if they are meeting terms for their eventual release date.

Prosecutors argue the law was enacted after Campbell was sentenced in May 2016. They say Campbell's probation officer has not recommended his early release.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

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