Friday, July 24, 2009
A sailor was charged Thursday with fatally shooting and burning Seaman August Provost during an alleged burst of crime June 30 at Camp Pendleton. In announcing the charges, Navy officials suggested that Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos killed his victim indiscriminately. They again said there's no evidence of a hate crime against Provost, who was gay, or of gang-related activity. Campos, 32, of Lancaster, had served with Provost on Assault Craft Unit 5. He faces 16 charges, including murder, arson, unlawful entry, theft of military property and wrongful possession of a firearm, Capt. Matt Brown, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest, said during a news conference Thursday afternoon at the San Diego Naval Base. The Navy hasn't announced a date for Campos' pretrial hearing, called an Article 32 hearing. “Our family is still in shock over what happened to August. We just want justice to be done, and we hope to one day understand why the killer would target someone as good and responsible as my nephew,” said aunt Rose Roy of Beaumont, Texas.
Seaman August Provost“I'm not sure the charges will settle our questions about August being harassed or murdered for his sexual orientation,” Roy added. “We are waiting for more information from the Navy.” Brown said that 10 days before Provost was killed, Campos was cited for driving under the influence in Imperial Beach. The incident led to him facing administrative punishment from the Navy. Around the same time, Campos allegedly broken into a home and stole an Xbox video-game system, a pistol and other belongings. He is accused of using that pistol to shoot Provost, Brown said. On the night of June 30, Campos allegedly broke into the Assault Craft Unit 5 property and burned a landing craft. He then allegedly saw Provost, who standing guard at a sentry post, and shot him. Campos also is accused of setting Provost and the post on fire. A day after Provost died, Brown said, Campos allegedly recruited a civilian to kill a Navy master-at-arms and damage his home. The officer served in the same unit as Campos and Provost, Brown said. Provost had completed three yearsof college before joining the Navy in March 2008 to help finance his education.