A man was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in state prison for the bludgeoning death of a roommate, whose remains were found behind a wall in a Lomita housing project apartment more than six years after she disappeared.
Randolph Garbutt, 47, pleaded no contest Sept. 12 to voluntary manslaughter in connection with Raven Campbell’s slaying.
The 37-year-old victim — whom family members said was mentally challenged and had a son — was reported missing from her residence in the 26800 block of Western Avenue in June 2009.
Her remains were found July 2, 2015, in a void behind a closet wall in her apartment in the Harbor Hills Housing Project, after authorities received a tip. Cadaver dogs, which are trained to find bodies, alerted deputies to the human remains.
Garbutt had lived in the apartment with Campbell and two other people during at least part of the time between December 2008, when Campbell moved in, and when she was reported missing, Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide Lt. Steve Jauch said shortly after Garbutt’s February 2016 arrest on an outstanding traffic warrant.
Garbutt was booked in connection with Campbell’s killing after a court appearance on the traffic matter.
Garbutt told investigators that he was afraid he would be blamed after she slipped and fell in the apartment and that he then put a plastic bag over her head and choked her to death, the Daily Breeze reported in 2016.
But at a hearing in which a judge found sufficient evidence to allow the case to proceed to trial, a friend testified that Garbutt told her that he hit Campbell with a hammer and that he said “God wanted her,” according to the newspaper.
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