Tearful daughter describes night her father shot man, leaving him paralyzed
She says she and friends were frightened as victim, other man followed them
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
WEST JORDAN — Tears flowed Tuesday as the daughter of Reginald George Campos took the stand at her father's trial to describe what happened the night a man was shot in a Bluffdale neighborhood dispute.
Stephanie Campos, 17, broke down in tears as she recalled the stress of that night, prompting Reginald Campos to cry as he watched his daughter on the stand.
Reginald Campos, 44, is charged with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, after an apparent miscommunication led to the shooting of neighborhood watch member David Serbeck, leaving him paralyzed.
Prosecutors called Stephanie Campos to testify on the second day of her father's trial. Tuesday's witness lineup also included police officers and detectives, as well as character witnesses called by defense attorneys to cast doubt on Serbeck's story.
On Monday, Serbeck took the stand and said he dropped his gun and kicked it away before he was shot while patrolling with another member of a neighborhood watch.
Stephanie Campos, then 16, said that on the night of July 22, 2009, she was walking home with a female friend about 11:30 p.m. when two men in a sport utility vehicle slowed down and asked them what they were doing. The girls ignored the men and made their way home, Stephanie Campos told the eight-person jury Tuesday.
She began to cry as she outlined her memory of later being followed by the men while she drove several of her friends home.
One of those friends said the girls were "freaking out" when the SUV aggressively followed them.
Stephanie Campos said her father was "calm" and "in control of himself" when he confronted the men in the SUV, despite prosecutors' assertions that he was in an "unjustified rage."
Unified Police detective Paul Nielson testified that Campos told him he had been "on edge" after his garage was burglarized and other crimes had been reported in the area.
At some point, according to prosecutors, he fired two shots at Serbeck, one of which severed Serbeck's spinal cord.
Campos told police Serbeck was holding a gun and was raising it when Campos shot him, Nielson said.
Prosecutors also played a 911 call by Reginald Campos in which he said, "When I confronted them, they pulled a gun and I shot them. … One man had a gun, and I shot him. He's hurt, he's down."
On the tape, Reginald Campos can be heard telling the other men to stay where he can see them.
"Don't be messing with the gun," he said on the tape. "Stay where you're at so I can see your hand."
Several police witnesses who responded or investigated the scene described everything from evidence at the scene to how semiautomatic guns work.
Prosecutors said Serbeck's gun was found cocked and loaded but with its safety switch engaged.
When a juror submitted a written question asking if the gun's safety could be engaged when a neighbor kicked the gun, however, a police firearms expert demonstrated that it was possible.
The trial is expected to wrap up on Wednesday. It is unknown if Reginald Campos will testify in his own defense.
- Riverton sees 550-acre LDS Church property...
- Paradigm shift: Fewer Utah juvenile offenders...
- About Utah: Selling bikes the new-fashioned way
- Police investigating man who barricaded...
- Police ID man who barricaded himself in motor...
- Woman killed by mixer at Sandy grocery store...
- Should Utah have 'blended sentences' for teen...
- Supporters of Oregon occupier honor LaVoy...
- Supporters of Oregon occupier honor... 53
- Feds say Orem man duped hundreds of... 28
- Meagan Grunwald won't get a new trial... 25
- Are you willing to take a pledge to... 19
- Woman killed by mixer at Sandy grocery... 16
- Paradigm shift: Fewer Utah juvenile... 16
- Video involving officer whose ear was... 15
- Should scientists be allowed to change... 10