Construction worker sentenced to 40 years for murdering ex-girlfriend

Corey Lewis Campbell, a man who murdered his ex-girlfriend in Houston before fleeing to North Carolina in 2020, has been convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The sentencing took place on Monday, following his conviction on Friday.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg expressed her condolences to the victim’s family, lamenting the tragic loss of a young woman in her prime. She noted the prevalence of domestic violence leading to gun violence, calling it senseless.

Campbell, 34, shot and killed 33-year-old Darlene Solis on April 28, 2020. After the murder, he hid the weapon under a bed and drove to North Carolina to meet his mother.

Campbell had moved to Houston to work in construction in 2016. He and Solis dated for approximately three years while he moved around the country for various construction jobs.

In 2020, when Campbell returned to Houston after working in Utah, Solis was involved with another man but invited Campbell to stay at her apartment on West Little York to help him. Campbell murdered Solis in the apartment, shooting her four times with a .40-caliber pistol before leaving the scene.

Assistant District Attorney Ryan McLearen stated that the jury’s sentence was appropriate given the devastating impact of Campbell’s actions on Solis’ family. Campbell met his mother at a Walmart in North Carolina, leaving his car in the parking lot before driving away with her.

Concerned after not hearing from her daughter for a few days, Solis’ mother contacted her ex-husband, a deputy with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, to check on her. Upon arriving at Solis’ apartment, he turned on his body camera and discovered her body, subsequently calling Houston police.

Campbell was arrested and waived extradition, returning to Texas for trial. Solis’ stepfather testified during the two-week trial, and his body camera footage was used as evidence. Houston investigators also interviewed a witness from North Carolina, who provided specific case details that had not been publicly disclosed, including the location of the murder weapon and its make and caliber.

Many of Solis’ family members were present in the courtroom during the trial. Solis’ mother, who attended the entire trial, delivered a victim impact statement after the sentencing. The jurors also heard a letter from one of Solis’ brothers, who attended the trial for two weeks before resuming his duties with the Army.

Campbell must serve at least half of his 40-year sentence before being eligible for parole.