MEDFORD, NY – Tenia Campbell, a 28-year-old resident of Medford, has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to the heinous crime of suffocating her twin two-year-old daughters in June 2019. Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney expressed his sorrow at the loss of these innocent lives, emphasizing that the sentence, though necessary, would not bring them back.
The harrowing details of the case were revealed through court documents and Campbell’s own admission during her plea allocution. On June 27, 2019, Campbell’s mother made a distressing 911 call, reporting that her daughter was driving around in the family van and threatening to kill her daughters, Jaida and Jasmine. Law enforcement immediately initiated a widespread search for Campbell and the twins, scouring the areas of Medford and Montauk. At around 4:00 p.m., an East Hampton Police Officer spotted the van just off Montauk Highway, a few miles west of Montauk Point.
Approaching the vehicle, the officer discovered Campbell outside the van. Upon closer inspection, she found the lifeless bodies of the twin girls in their car seats. It was later revealed that Campbell had confessed to smothering her daughters to death.
On December 13, 2023, in front of Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro, Campbell pleaded guilty to two counts of Murder in the First Degree, classified as Class A violent felonies. Justice Ambro subsequently handed down a sentence of 20 years to life in prison on January 29, 2024. Campbell was represented by John Halverson, Esq., while Assistant District Attorney Frank Schroeder of the Homicide Bureau led the prosecution, with Detective Ron Tavares of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Homicide Squad providing investigative support.
This case serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the unfathomable cruelty that can exist within our society. It highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing the complexities of mental health and ensuring the availability of resources to support struggling individuals before such tragedies occur.