Joseph Campbell, Timothy Newman: ‘Dateline NBC’ Probes Fatal Montana Land Dispute, Feud Between Neighbors

Joseph Campbell, the Montana man who shot and killed his neighbor, Timothy Newman, over a land dispute between Falls Creek Trail and Diamond Bar X three years ago, is the story to be presented on the next Dateline NBC.

Appropriately titled “The Feud,” the Dateline story will describe the tense moments that led to the death of a man who fought for his right to access public property that had been blocked by a neighbor who was involved in several land disputes with property owners. On Friday’s show, Dateline will talk to former neighbors and Montana Lewis and Clark County law enforcement officials who will discuss the case.

Montana Locations Pertaining To This Case

  • Falls Creek Trail
  • Diamond Bar X
  • Augusta
  • Dearborn River
  • Table Mountain Road
  • Glacier National Park

In October 2013, 911 operators were called by the wife of Joseph Campbell, who stated that her husband was involved in an argument with neighbor Timothy B. Newman over access to property. By the time the officers arrived, 53-year-old Timothy Newman was dead. Sixty-seven-year-old Joseph Glenn Campbell, who was still at the scene, told investigators that he shot Newman in self-defense after Newman aimed a gun at him.

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Timothy Newman loved area and the outdoors. He never thought he'd lose his life over it.

An autopsy conducted on Tim Newman indicated that he had been shot twice, but his fatal injuries did not line up with what Joe Campbell said happened. After a lengthy investigation, Joseph Campbell was finally arrested and charged with Timothy Newman’s death.

The Montana feud put an end to a long-standing dispute between Joseph Campbell and many of the residents who lived in the cottages and cabins around Falls Creek Trail.

The beautiful mountainside, with its cool waters and breathtaking views under the big sky, was supposed to be a place of tranquility and splendor for the community. Instead, life was made difficult by the ugly in-fighting between neighbors who were often confronted by a gun-toting Joseph Campbell, according to the Independent Record.

“He was known to confront residents at his fences while armed. In charging documents, it is noted that authorities received more than 25 calls involving Campbell between 2000 and 2013, including allegations that he threatened people with a gun.”

Land owners felt violated, they felt bullied, and they believed that their right to access public property was halted because of one man who had enough money to buy up much of the land. There were fights over fences and locked gates, and there were confrontations along the trails involving innocent passersby who were stopped in their tracks and told that they were trespassing on private property.

One neighbor, Josslyn Aberle, remembers being confronted by Joseph Campbell and fearing for her life, the Independent Record continues.

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Looking back, everyone knew that one day something extremely bad was going to happen, especially since days leading up to the killing, a friend stated that Joseph Campbell had threatened to end the situation and that the outcome was not going to be good.

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That October day in 2013, Timothy Newman had had enough. This time, he was going to cut the lock off of Joseph Campbell’s gate and gain access to public property. However, as the argument escalated between the two angry men, who were both unwilling to back down, it left Timothy Newman dead with two gunshot wounds to the body.

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Property and land disputes between neighbors in Montana are nothing new, according to the locals who say that hunters and other anonymous people are always trying trespass on private property. Those who have tried to gain access through blocked roads say that sometimes there are no signs, which leaves people confused. Others believe that state officials help their rich friends to secure the land, barring regular people access to what should be available to them.

In another land dispute case in 2011, John Michael Crites, known as Mike Crites and “Mountain Man Mike,” went missing after an ongoing feud with neighbors in Montana over property and land. His dismembered body was found in black bags a month later near MacDonald’s Pass. A skull was eventually recovered, which allowed coroners to identify the victim. No one has been charged with his death, though some believe that he was murdered by someone with whom he had a feud.

Watch tonight’s Dateline NBC at 10/9 p.m. Central. Earlier this year, the Inquisitr brought you the story of another Montana death case. That episode was titled, “Mystery in Big Sky Country.”

[Photo by Matt Volz/AP Images]