NEWPORT — One of three court-appointed defense attorneys assigned to defendant Jack Edward Sigler entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf to multiple charges, including second-degree murder, during Sigler’s arraignment hearing Thursday morning in Lincoln County Circuit Court in Newport. Sigler is accused in the stabbing death of Waldport City Councilor Mark Campbell.
A grand jury initially indicted Sigler in December on three counts of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree theft. However, on Jan. 14, a grand jury indicted Sigler on superseding charges of second-degree murder, four counts of first-degree burglary and one first-degree theft charge.
Sigler is accused of killing Campbell during a physical encounter in the early hours of Dec. 6, when Sigler allegedly broke into and entered a neighboring residence to Campbell’s in the 1600 block of South Crestline Drive in Waldport. Campbell died of multiple stab wounds according to law enforcement reports.
During Thursday’s hearing, continued from two days’ prior, Portland-based attorney Steve Lindsey waived Sigler’s right to have the superseding charges against him read aloud by presiding Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart, who canceled Sigler’s initially scheduled Feb. 3 trial date. Bachart scheduled Sigler’s next court appearance — a status hearing — for 10:30 a.m. on April 26 in Lincoln County Circuit Court before Pro Tem Judge Amanda Benjamin.
Sigler attended Thursday’s hearing via video conference and responded with “yes, ma’am” when Bachart asked if he possessed a copy of the charges against him, and if his name was spelled properly on the documents.
The court initially assigned attorney Kristina Kayl to defend Sigler. Following Sigler’s most recent indictment, Lindsey and Mark Sabitt, who practices out of Eugene, were added to Sigler’s defense team late last week. All three were present Thursday in court.
“We have been provided with some discovery, around 600 or 700 pages,” Lindsey told the court on behalf of the defense team. “It’s not completed and is missing some materials.”
Bachart then heard from Lincoln County District Attorney Lanee Danforth, representing the state, who told the court the Oregon State Police Crime Lab had not yet completed forensic analysis of the crime scene. Danforth then deferred to Det. Abby Dorsey, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office lead investigator in the case.
“When I spoke with (the crime lab) this morning, the analyst’s report is at least two weeks out, “ Dorsey said. “It’s probably going to be at least two months for everything (to be processed).”
Sabitt told Bachart that Sigler’s defense team conferred with their client the day before, and a motion has been filed to recuse Bachart from the case.
After setting the April status conference date, Bachart took an opportunity to speak to those who gathered to attend the hearing in person, including Campbell’s mother and wife, Jean Campbell and Christine Campbell.
“I know there’s some other individuals that are present here in court, and who knows what we’ll be in for in April, but I anticipate nothing changing,” Bachart said. “We are limiting the number of folks present here in the courtroom, and if there are people who wish to be here personally at those subsequent hearings, I’m just going to have you call the number that’s posted to the court’s website. But we really need to restrict the number of actual persons who are in the building and in our courtroom.”
When asked by Bachart if it was necessary, neither Danforth nor Sigler’s representation requested the court revisit Sigler’s $450,000 bond — he’s been held in the Lincoln County Jail since arrest.
In the days following Campbell’s death, the sheriff’s office learned that Sigler had admitted to acquaintances that he’d stolen items from the scene on three occasions between Nov. 24 and early December, but said he wasn’t there on Dec. 6, when an intruder killed Campbell. According to sheriff’s office reports, when contacted by law enforcement at his residence, six blocks down South Crestline Drive from the murder scene, Sigler turned over multiple items stolen from the crime scene, and reiterated his innocence pertaining to Campbell’s murder.
Sigler faces life imprisonment if convicted of murder.
Dorsey declined to comment following Thursday’s arraignment hearing when the News-Times asked if she was pleased with the day’s courtroom proceedings.