Coroner: Man pushed to his death

SANDUSKY He didn't fall, he was pushed. A Sandusky man whose skull fractured in sever
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



He didn't fall, he was pushed.

A Sandusky man whose skull fractured in several places after tumbling down a flight of stairs was pushed, a Lucas County autopsy report revealed Thursday.

Thomas M. Campbell Sr., 59, died in January the day after he visited a Castalia home. Police initially thought he fell down the stairs and the death was accidental.

Now the autopsy report has confirmed suspicions it wasn't an accident.

Two people were arrested in the homicide case last month and await arraignment on charges on Monday in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

John Brownell, 44, 600 block of Bennett Ave., is charged with reckless homicide and tampering with evidence. Reckless homicide is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Terra L. Blanton, 34, same address, is charged with obstructing justice and tampering with evidence.

In addition to skull fractures and internal bleeding, Campbell also suffered two broken ribs in the fall, the report said. A coroner determined Campbell was pushed in the chest.

"This is something I think they were told by police," said Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter. "I don't think there was any physical evidence of a chest injury."

Campbell was intoxicated at the time, with a 0.31-percent blood alcohol reading. He also had swelling and fluid retention in his lungs at the time of his death, and sustained external bruising near his right eye, the report said.

There appears to have been a struggle leading up to Campbell's death, Baxter said earlier.