Sunday, December 17, 2017
Education

Madison County deputies make second arrest in death of former Gulf High School principal

The Madison County Sheriff's Office has made a second arrest in connection with the murder of former Gulf High School principal James E. "Ed" Campbell.

Jeremiah Gillyard, 21, does not currently face homicide charges, Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart said. But "we definitely had enough to charge him with some secondary crimes."

Those included the use of Campbell's credit card and vehicle, which were taken from his home in rural north Florida. Gillyard was in jail on pending charges of theft and grand theft Thursday while investigators continued to look into the full extent of his involvement.

"There's an overwhelming amount of evidence. They're still sorting it all out," Stewart said.

He expected a grand jury to convene soon in the matter. He predicted few problems in any prosecution, calling the case "very good."

Stewart would not identify the exact cause of death, but said it was clearly a homicide.

"The sad part of it is, he was there almost 10 days before he was discovered," he said.

Deputies found Campbell's body in his home on Saturday after receiving a call to check on him. Gary Givens, 18, was arrested Tuesday on charges of homicide, burglary, grand theft, theft and credit card fraud. Stewart said it appeared that Campbell, 75, who retired to Madison County after two decades in the Pasco County school system, had past interactions with Givens, who was a suspect in a past burglary case at the residence.

"I think he had befriended him, which makes this more egregious, as far as I am concerned," Stewart said.

Cathy Sleeth, one of Campbell's nieces, said she and her family had not heard of Givens. She said it might have been possible that Givens had engaged her uncle, who lived alone, in conversation at some point.

The family is still working on funeral arrangements.

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