RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost nine months after the death of his fiancee, Ian Campbell pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in a Wake County courtroom Monday.
Prosecutors say Campbell strangled Heather Domenie, an elementary school teacher, in the Cary home the couple shared. Campbell told police he came home from the store and found her dead. In a call to 911, he implied that Domenie strangled herself with a towel.
For weeks after the death, Cary police watched Campbell. They saw him at a north Raleigh apartment with another woman they say he was romantically involved with. On Aug. 16, Campbell was arrested.
Defense attorney Tomas Manning argued that because police did not tell Campbell about his rights as a Canadian citizen at the time of his arrest, the death penalty should not be allowed. Canada does not use or support the death penalty.
The state says they want the death penalty because evidence shows the crime was heinous and Campbell stood to gain financially. Campbell is scheduled to go to trial May 19.
The defense is concerned about pre-trial publicity and will ask jurors to fill out a questionnaire to make sure they do not already have opinions about the case. The trial, including jury selection, could take as long as five weeks.