Husband's mistake, prison sentence happened for a reason, wife says
It is community support, family and faith that have helped her and sustained her since the shooting. She said regularly attending LDS temple and church services has helped her keep her head above water.
"I would probably need to go on anxiety medication if it weren't for the temple," she said. "I've always been a really calm and just easygoing person and until you experience something like this, you don't realize you can relate to others who have depression or anxiety. It's really hard to get up and go and function. I still have depression and anxiety, but I'm trying to do the things I need to do to shake it and get through it."
Meant to be?
There is a lot that her husband has missed. Their oldest daughter left for an LDS mission to Thailand and will return in three weeks. Stephanie Campos will get married a week after her sister's return. Soon, their son, R.J., will be baptized.
Kathy Campos does not blame her husband for that.
"I just feel like, gosh, everybody makes mistakes in their life and sometimes we make mistakes in the spur of the moment and that's what happened to Reggie," she said. "But I'm not sure it was really a mistake. Everything just came into place for this event to happen."
Weeks before the shooting, the Campos' mail was stolen and their garage was burglarized. Before then, her husband had always kept his gun in storage and seldom used it. But he took it out of storage and moved it to a lock box in the couple's closet after the burglary.
Kathy Campos believes all of it happened for a reason: the fact that they put offers on homes in Lehi and Saratoga Springs only to end up in Bluffdale, the burglaries, the way it worked out that both men were still on the road the night of the incident.
"I totally feel like this whole thing was kind of destined, because I don't think the stars, the moon or the sun could have been lined up any better that night. If he had come home five seconds earlier or waited five seconds, they would have never crossed paths and this never would have happened," she said. "But then had he been found innocent, these girls wouldn't have come forward and Serbeck wouldn't be in prison."
"I think, had this never happened, we'd be in our beautiful home in Bluffdale and just going on our happy way and everything would be fine," she said, before gesturing toward Stephanie and her fiancé. "But these two would have never met. Also, Reggie had been inactive in the church, he had fallen away and this has brought him back."
She said the wake of the shooting pushed her into the stages of grief, with anger, bargaining, depression. But she has decided not to cling to the anger or resentment.
Prison has softened her husband and she said he just wants to be home with his family. She is hopeful that her husband's lack of criminal history will work in his favor and that once he spends three years in prison, he will be released soon after. He has been tutoring and helping other prisoners and taking guitar and piano lessons.
"He's doing the best he can in a bad situation and I told him, 'If you get resentful or bitter, I don't want you when you come home,'" she said. "I don't want that. I don't want him coming home and being angry and bitter all his life. I want to move on. I want to move past this."
Campos will go before the Utah Court of Appeals Monday to ask for a new trial on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct and arguing that the judge was wrong about what evidence to admit. The Utah Attorney General's Office will seek to uphold his conviction.
Whatever happens, the Campos family is prepared. If anything, they have learned how unpredictable life can be.
"You just never know what's around the corner," Kathy Campos said. "You think you have your life planned and you're planning it a certain way and it's going to go the way you want it, and it doesn't happen that way. Things happen in a moment's notice and it changes your life completely.
"You just have to learn from those experience and try to make the best of it and move forward and good things happen … other blessings happen. It's not always doom and gloom.
"There's always another door that opens and you can have joy and happiness again. You have to put things in an eternal perspective."
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