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Man accused of ramming fiery truck into ex-girlfriend’s Lafayette house takes plea deal

Mark Campbell, 29, to serve eight to 22 years in prison

Mark Campbell

The man who reportedly crashed his fiery truck into a Lafayette house last year in an effort to kill his ex-girlfriend has taken a plea deal and could be facing up to 22 years in prison.

Mark Austin Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree assault and attempted first-degree burglary Friday.

Campbell, who remains in custody on a $250,000 bond, entered the plea during a remote hearing to which he tuned in from the Boulder County Jail.

Senior Boulder Deputy District Attorney Anne Kelly told Boulder District Judge Bruce Langer that attorneys agreed Campbell will serve a prison sentence of between eight to 22 years.

Campbell is set for sentencing on Sept. 9.

Both charges are classified as extraordinary risk crimes due to the use of a deadly weapon, in this case the “flaming motor vehicle,” according to the plea documents. Both will also have a stipulated domestic violence basis, which will impact Campbell’s ability to own a firearm in the future.

Prosecutors dismissed the remaining charges, including five counts of attempted first-degree murder, three other counts of attempted first-degree assault, first-degree arson and criminal mischief in the amount of $100,000 to $1 million.

Per the plea agreement, Campbell will be subject to restitution on all of the charges, including those dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Campbell had been set for trial in September, but that will be canceled as a result of the guilty plea.

According to an arrest affidavit, police and firefighters were called to the 300 block of Simpson Street on May 26 for a structure fire. Firefighters found the front of the house on fire and a truck with its bed inside the home.

While firefighters tried to put out the blaze, police were talking to Campbell, who was inside the truck and refusing to come out. Police said Campbell appeared to be trying to goad the officers into shooting him and pulled a knife that he used to try and cut himself.

An officer with a non-lethal pepper bag shotgun broke the window of the truck and began firing at Campbell, who then dropped the knife and left the truck.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire before it spread from the home, and the three people inside were able to safely evacuate through a back door.

A woman who lived inside the home said Campbell was her ex-boyfriend, and said he had recently been trying to contact her. She said he sent a note the day of the crash saying “it was not her fault” and indicating he was going to do something.

Witnesses said Campbell showed up at the house and knocked on the door to try to get his ex-girlfriend to answer. When she did not, witnesses said Campbell poured gasoline on himself and on firewood in the bed of his truck and lit it on fire before ramming the truck into the home, according to the affidavit.

The ex-girlfriend said Campbell kept pulling the truck forward and reversing it back into the home to try and drive it deeper into the building, and shouted “That (expletive) is going down with me, we’re going down together.”

Campbell told police he had only been trying to contact his ex because she owed him money and did admit to lighting his truck on fire, but said backing into the house was an accident and that he never intended to hurt anybody but himself.

Police found a lighter and a burnt gas canister and firewood near the burnt truck, according to the affidavit.

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