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Lake of the Pines alleged con’s case continues

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A Lake of the Pines man charged with allegedly conning $650,000 out of local community members, many of which were his neighbors, could be moving forward with his case next month. William Lawson Campbell, who was 64 when he was arrested in October, is charged with 29 felony counts, one for every alleged victim. Sgt. Steve Tripp, of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, has said there were originally 50 victims in the case, but some of them chose not to be involved in the charges against Campbell. According to Jamie Hogenson, the prosecutor for the case, Campbell waived his right Thursday to a preliminary hearing. The hearing had been scheduled for June 14. Hogenson said Campbell is now scheduled for an arraignment at 1:30 p.m. June 13 in the trial court in the Nevada County courthouse on Church Street in Nevada City. “Based on this waiver he was held to answer on the charges as filed in the complaint,” Hogenson said. “He will have to enter a plea and decide if he wants to go to trial or not.” At the proceeding Campbell could change his plea from not guilty or a trial date could be arranged, Hogenson said. Campbell’s house on Inverness Way is scheduled to be auctioned at 12:30 p.m. June 14 at the courthouse in Nevada City. The auction has been postponed numerous times. Harry Lent III, a Lake of the Pines resident who reportedly lost $45,000 to Campbell in a scam, said he thinks the proceedings are taking too much time. “My only comment is why is it taking so long?” Lent said. “Personally I’m frustrated that it has been taking so long and he is still walking the streets. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got delayed again, the ways it’s been going for so long. It will be interesting to see what happens (June) 13.” Lent said Campbell’s neighbor told him that Campbell and his wife are still living in the Inverness Way home. “That’s just another thing, too,” Lent said. “That house was supposed to be on the block three or four months ago, and they are still living like nothing is wrong.” Campbell’s attorney, Greg Klein, of Nevada City, was unavailable for comment Tuesday. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com