Shenandoah shooter sentenced to life, plus 46 years for murder, wounding and weapons charges

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Scott Simandl
On May 10, 2023, a jury found Scott Simandl guilty of the first degree murder of Jay Campbell, the aggravated malicious wounding of Justice Campbell, and a firearms charge associated with each shooting on July 21, 2022.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Sept. 20 — Last Wednesday, Scott Simandl was sentenced to a total of life, plus 46 years after a jury found him guilty in May of shooting a father and son at his residence near Shenandoah in July 2022.

“Today, justice was served,” Page County Sheriff Chad Cubbage posted on the department’s Facebook page on Sept. 20.

Simandl received a life sentence for his conviction on a Class 2 felony for the July 21, 2022 first degree murder of Jay Campbell. He received an additional 40-year prison sentence, with 20 years suspended, for the aggravated malicious wounding of Justice Campbell on that same day. He then received an additional three years in prison for each of two felony weapons charges (use of firearm in the commission of a felony) related to the murder and the aggravated malicious wounding.

“I would like to particularly extend my thanks to the investigations division for their hard work and dedication to this case. I would also like to thank the deputies, and ALL agencies that had a part in the initial incident, Virginia State Police, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the team work, and successful prosecution of this case,” Sheriff Cubbage stated in his post. “Hopefully, today brought closure to the families and those affected by this crime.”

The jury that convicted Simandl on May 10 deliberated for about seven hours. The 12 members had heard testimony from more than 30 witnesses (with several being recalled) and examined dozens of exhibits serving as evidence — 65 entered by the prosecution alone.

“Along with law enforcement, I would like to personally thank my staff of Armanda Clymer, Andrew Harding, Laurie Freeze, Stephanie Rucker, Rosalynn Good and Stephanie Judd Breeden for all of the hard work and dedication that went into this prosecution,” Page County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Cave stated in a social media post after the Sept. 20 sentencing.

Simandl openly admitted in court to shooting both Jay and Justice Campbell under questioning by his own attorney. However, he also claimed that both men had a gun and pointed it at him. While the fact that Simandl shot the Campbells was not disputed, the defense argued that the acts were in self defense, not done in malice and not premeditated. 

The jury had the option to convict Simandl on lesser charges. The first degree murder charge could have been lowered to either second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter, if the jury had questioned the presence of malice or premeditation. The aggravated malicious wounding charge could have been lowered to malicious wounding, unlawful wounding or assault and battery, according to instructions that the jury received from the judge.

The jury ultimately found Simandl guilty on all counts.

“I’m so proud of my team,” Captain Timmy Lansberry, head of investigations for the Page Countuy Sheriff’s Office. “They are a dedicated group of men and women who have the best interest of the community at heart. The support we received from the State Police 2nd Division BCI Team,and the Commonwealth’s Attorney were second to none! I’m blessed to work with these folks.”



Jury finds Shenandoah man guilty of first degree murder in July shooting of father and son

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