On Monday morning Blaine Camp of Danbury pled guilty to accessory after the fact to second degree murder for his involvement in the shooting death of Lopez Dalton on Dec. 26, 2015. The plea closes a homicide case in which Camp, along with Tysean Kellam of Eden, Demarcus Kellam of Eden, Jamie Aiken of Stoneville, and Jesse McCollum of Madison, were all charged for their involvement in Dalton’s death.
Rockingham County District Attorney, Craig M. Blitzer, told Superior Court Judge Mark Klass that on Dec. 26, 2015, McCollum and Camp set up a deal to sell an ounce of marijuana to Aiken and Demarcus Kellam. When Demarcus Kellam and Aiken showed up at McCollum’s residence, Demarcus Kellam grabbed the bag of marijuana and Aiken sped off. Wanting their money, McCollum and Camp contacted Dalton to assist them in getting their marijuana back.
According to Blitzer, armed with a pistol, Dalton picked up McCollum and Camp in his vehicle. Using an app to disguise their cell phone number, McCollum and Camp texted Demarcus Kellam and Aiken posing as subjects who wanted to buy an ounce of marijuana. The parties agreed via text to meet at the Huddle House on US 220. Demarcus Kellam and Aiken picked up Demarcus’ cousin Tysean Kellam, who was also armed with a pistol. Demarcus Kellam, Aiken and Tysean Kellam went to the Huddle House not knowing they were actually meeting McCollum and Camp.
When the parties arrived at the Huddle House, a confrontation broke out between Demarcus Kellam and Dalton regarding whether the bag of marijuana in fact weighed one ounce. Dalton purportedly drew his pistol and fired one round at Demarcus Kellam. Dalton’s bullet did not strike anyone. Tysean Kellam discharged his pistol at Dalton striking him five times. McCollum and Camp, still in Dalton’s vehicle, sped away as did Demarcus Kellam, Tysean Kellam and Aiken.
A press release from the district attorney’s office stated, McCollum and Camp returned to the scene where they observed Dalton lying on the ground with a crowd around him. McCollum and Camp left the scene for a second time without rendering aid to Dalton or calling 911. McCollum and Camp then drove Dalton’s car almost a quarter mile off a road into a field. McCollum and Camp walked back to McCollum’s house and went to bed, only to be awoken shortly after by Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
Tysean Kellam pled to second degree murder and received a prison term of 144-185 months. Demarcus Kellam and Jaime Aiken pled to accessory after the fact to second degree murder and common law robbery. Both received prison terms of 44-65 months. McCollum and Camp pled to accessory after the fact to second degree murder and each received a prison term of 44-65 months.
After the plea agreement was finalized on Monday, Camp acknowledged he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I would do anything to have that night back,” he said. “I only met Mr. Dalton a few times. When I did I was with Jesse. But for the family, I’m so sorry for the loss. I would do anything to have him back. No one deserves to die, especially over drugs.”
Camp has been out on parole since Feb. 3 and reports to prison in October. The family is hoping he will be sent to a minimum security facility in Caswell County.
“I chose the plea rather than trial because if I would’ve took it to trial there was no going back; you can’t put faith in a jury’s hands,” he said.
Camp wants his community to know he’s sorry for what transpired in the early hours of Dec. 26.
“Anyone that knows me personally knows I wouldn’t have never done anything to get someone killed or kill someone. I am not a killer or a drug dealer. I am a kind person.”
Camp credits his mother for her strength and support over the last eight months along with Jason Throckmorton, Rock Griffin, and Joe and Robyn Hardin. Friends and family have rallied around the 19-year old creating a Facebook page of nearly 700 “Blaine Believers”.
“When I get out of prison I plan to better myself and try to help others. But I promise this community one thing I will not let my family or support down. I plan to do big things in life and I still have high expectations for myself,” Camp said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.