Lynette Pontius, Joseph Laverne: ‘Snapped’ Reveals Child Custody As Motive In Attempted Murder Of Michigan’s Martin Campbell

Lynette Pontius, the woman who conspired with a man to murder her ex-boyfriend, Martin Campbell, over a child custody dispute, will have her story reenacted on this Sunday’s Snapped on the Oxygen Network. This season, Snapped has brought you some of the most heinous true-crime stories of murder steeped in mystery. On Sunday’s show, listen in as investigators try to find out the identity of a masked gunman who shot a loving father in his own home.


Somebody Wants Him Dead

Kalamazoo, Michigan, is an average rural town that has its share of crime, but is still considered by many as a good place to raise children. But on a cold winter’s day in February of 2007, it became a true-life horror movie for one couple. According to authorities, 27-year-old Martin Campbell was shot in an invasion at his home on North Sprinkle Road located in Richland Township by a ski-mask-wearing gunman who pistol whipped him and left him with multiple bullet wounds in the body.

Martin Campbell’s girlfriend, Elizabeth, told police that the gunman came in and rushed right past her to reach Campbell, leaving no doubt that Campbell was the target. The attack happened just after 8:00 a.m., when Martin Campbell’s girlfriend dropped the kids off at the bus stop that morning.


Michigan Police Investigation

Investigators were desperate to find out who wanted Martin Campbell dead and why. They started with taking a look at his domestic relationship with his current girlfriend, Elizabeth. Then, they learned about his ex-girlfriend, Lynette Vonda Pontius, with whom Martin Campbell had a 7-year-old daughter.

Lynette Pontius and Martin Campbell had been involved in a bitter custody battle over the child. Court records indicate that Campbell had custody of little Alicia. Family and friends say that when Martin Campbell was first awarded custody of their daughter, Martin and Lynette appeared to have an amicable relationship since Martin allowed Lynette Pontiac to see Alicia at any time. However, at some point, that changed, leaving Lynette, a struggling single mother, bitter that she didn’t have custody of her own child.

Snapped will explain how the attempted murder split family and friends straight down the middle, with some believing that Martin Campbell was an abusive and unfit father who had problems with drugs in the past, and others believing that Lynette Pontius was not being given a fair break.

Convictions, And Rightly So

Ultimately, when police were able to connect Lynette Pontius to the actual shooter, who turned out to be a 50-year-old man named Joseph Laverne, she was arrested, convicted, and later sentenced to life in prison. Joseph J. Laverne was forthcoming about how he planned the murder with Lynette Pontius. He was also convicted and is serving a life sentence.

According to MLive, Martin Campbell survived the attack. Now, he hopes that he will be left alone and be able to move on with his life.

“It’s been a crazy situation. I can only pray her family leaves us alone. Then I hope we don’t have any more problems.”

lynette-pontius-facebook [image via Michigan Dept. Of Corrections]Since she has been incarcerated, Lynette Pontius has still tried to find a way to keep in touch with the outside world. In my research, this writer uncovered a profile for Lynette Pontius found at WriteAPrisoner, where the convicted attempted killer describes herself as a woman who is looking for loyal friends. She states that she loves the outdoors and admits to having made some mistakes in her past.

“I’m a 35 year old single woman seeking loyal friends. I have great love for the outdoors. I also enjoy being at home with family and friends. I’ve made many mistakes in my past and would like to find people who won’t judge me — only help me to continue to be a better person.”

You can view the story of Lynette Pontius on Snapped this Sunday, July 3, at 9/8 p.m. central on Oxygen.

[Image via BortN66/ShutterStock]