Husband's mistake, prison sentence happened for a reason, wife says

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  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    March 30, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    I believe in the second amendment. I was raised in a home with a father and brothers who hunted and continue to take care of their guns responsibly. That being said, anger and guns are a deadly combination. Police officers are trained for these kind of situations, and vigilante justice is never appropriate. Calling 911 and giving himself time to cool down and think more clearly would have been the right and legal thing to do, since the girls were not in immediate danger. It is so easy to let our emotions get the best of us, especially concerning our children. This is why people unemotionally involved and far better trained with firearms must be allowed to do their jobs.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    March 27, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    If you want to protect your daughter, you do not bring her along as you confront the suspect. This was about a vigilante acting out his own drama, high on a gun-induced rage state. If he had not been allowed to have a gun, this would never have happened. Support gun control!

  • SouthernBaptist Jackson, TN
    March 26, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    If he hadn't stopped this scumbag a liberal judge would have had him back on the streets in a few months and he would have been stalking MORE girls.

    This man did what he should have done, rendered JUSTICE.

  • SouthernBaptist Jackson, TN
    March 26, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    This man is a HERO! If the scumbag had gone after my daughter he would have died SLOWLY and PAINFULLY!

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    March 26, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    Thing is, before he shot anybody, he had seen that all the young ladies had made it home. If I understood the article correctly, the only girl out was his own daughter, I must assume to help him find the guy in his vehicle while Daddy drove. That's how I read it. There was no reason, since no girls were in danger, why this dad couldn't have simply called the cops on his cellphone and reported his whereabouts. He could have also reported the information on his vehicle from his home, or done both, whatever the police preferred. It's a shame this had to happen. And as to the presence of guns, did both men have a carry permit? In the real old west, anyone coming into town had to leave their weapons at the Sheriff's office--of course, they couldn't keep dead bodies cold very well in those days...something to think on...

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    I forget why this guy thought leaving the house with his gun was a better option then calling the police???

  • kberry Tooele, UT
    March 25, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Can we really trust the Utah Attorney General's Office?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 25, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    @ CWEB: How did the father know the man was a sexual predator? Oh, wait - that's right - he didn't.

    The father knew nothing about the men who were following his daughter and her friends. And with this complete lack of knowledge, he put a loaded gun in the car - with his daughter, whom he was soooo desperate to protect, and went looking for the vehicle his daughter said had been following her. When he excited his car, he took the loaded gun with him.

    Regardless of which story you buy, he had his gun with him when he got out of his car after cutting the other vehicle off and forcing it to stop.

    He knew nothing about the men in the vehicle, or why they were following the girls, and he got out of his car with a gun.

    Nothing that had happened up to that point that evening justified his behavior.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    March 25, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    Campos shouldn't have let his temper get the best of him and he was wrong for taking his gun out but I don't believe the problem would have been solved by calling the police either. Serbeck would probably still be roaming around with his gun under the guise of neighborhood watch and terrorizing people. The cops would have told Campos the girls were acting suspicious and it was a misunderstanding. We had an incident where a man followed my husband into our neighborhood because of road rage and threatened his life. My husband had done nothing wrong and we called the police as we watched him stalk up and down in front of our house raging and punching his fist into his hand. The man spoke to police first and lied and my husband was threatened with charges. He had done nothing wrong and was depending on police to solve the problem and not take things into his own hands. My husband has a completely clean record. I reminded the police officer we had called and did not engage the man but she just smirked at me. Nothing was done.

  • BleedsBlue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    Most truthful and patriotic:

    Call me sentimental, mushy, whatever. I still have to hope that I can find the good and the blessings in whatever circumstance I find myself due to the unexpected paths I may be (and have been)thrown into. Can't imagine going through life with a bitter attitude about the hand one is dealt. I would like to give Mrs. Campos the benefit of the doubt, that as she has chosen to make lemonade out of lemons so far, she will continue to do so. She sets a good example. I wish only the best for her and hers.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    March 25, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    AS the father of a son who was molested, I'm on the side of the Father...Sexual Predator with a gun? Why? He got out with a gun?

    How aimlessly we excuse the poor sexual predator...and jail the Dad...lovely. Just lovely.

    Praying for the family and the man...holy ghost or not.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    Okay, let me point out something. The guy who got shot, Serback, if he had shot Campos and killed him or injured him he would have got off on a self defense charge. Campos chased him down, cut him off and forced him to stop, and then got out of his vehicle with a gun. Serback would have very much been within the law to "let him have it."

    Something else, Campos did all this with his daughter in his vehicle. Really? What was he thinking there? The dude is worried enough that a situation might get violent that he has a gun, yet he still confronts Serback with his daughter in the vehicle?

    Another thing, there was someone else in Serback's vehicle. Right? I imagine he also testified in court. And he would have had a front row seat, as it were.

    March 25, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    I am interested in this story for one reason, I can see myself doing something similar if a creep had been chasing my daughter. I don't believe for a minute this man grabbed his gun to go enact vigilante justice. He grabbed the gun because he knew that chasing down criminals was dangerous and he might need to protect himself, which he did. This guy doesn't belong in jail. We all know the police are stretched thin sometimes and calling them might have solved nothing. I have chased vandals out of my yard with my gun before. This could easily have been me. Sad this family is ruined because a good Dad went with his heart. This other guy was a sexual stalker and predator, a scum. I hope this dad gets set free...and fast.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    March 25, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Schutzengel: First, he did not even attack these girls - he was only following them after they were in his neighborhood - so to say he had attacked or would attack anyone else is a false accusation.

    Then you say: "And when would the other girls have ever been able to come forward, if this man hadn't been put in a place where he could not HURT THEM anymore."

    When did he actually hurt them? I did not read anywhere where he actually "hurt them." Where is the testimony of what happened from the other male person he had with them? I didn't read what he said. And Mr. Campos knew none of this man's history prior to shooting him!

    This is a case where most of you, without having been at the trial, are taking into account a person's history and then convicting that person for something he didn't do, at least to these girls!

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    March 25, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Folks, Serbeck was not alone in his car.

    He was not following Campos' daughter -- he was following a GROUP of girls, in an area where there had been burglaries.
    Those girls were later found in a car matching the description of the suspect car.

    That car drove to the Campos home.

    Whatever Serbeck is guilty of, is not connected to the night where Campos shot him.

  • Schutzengel Bluffdale, UT
    March 25, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Our prayers are with you and your family!

    A mistake was made, yes, but in defense of his daughter. It wasn't an excuse to use a gun, or to stir up trouble.(Honestly, why would a father with a family to care for want to find an EXCUSE to shoot someone?) Yes, he should have stayed home and called the cops. But he didn't, that's not what happened. So he got some time. But attempted murder? Don't be ridiculous.

    Serbeck had only been in the neighborhood a little while; who's to say he wouldn't have attacked more young girls here? And when would the other girls have ever been able to come forward, if this man hadn't been put in a place where he could not HURT THEM anymore. THIS is why Mrs. Campos feels it was "meant to be." Because even at the sacrifice of having her husband gone from her for a few years, Serbeck was caught in his run.

    But as I said. A few years. We hope the trial this morning was a just and fair trial.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Yahoos with guns. Nothing good will ever happen.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    JJJHS--I don't know that you and I see eye-to-eye on everything, but I think you are spot on with this one. It was a mistake of the highest order to get his gun, leave the house, and go looking for this guy. I am a gun owner, with two daughters, and am not insensitive to his feelings. But, his emotions got the better of him (and, unfortunately, his family). He should have just called 911. There was no immediate danger to his family when he left his home. The judge in this case was right when he said Campos couldn't use a self-defense argument.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    March 25, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    BleedsBlue --
    The wife may feel differently, when her husband gets out of prison.

    I know a woman who stuck with her husband while he was in prison, but after he got out, found that he couldn't get a job to support the family. She still has to carry all the household expenses, is still paying off attorneys fees ... and now believes that she wasted 15 years of her life.

    She's 65 now, and can't even retire. She'd lose her home, which she had to mortgage to pay off attorneys.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    March 25, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    This was not a "mistake" as Mrs Campos claims.
    Her husband's actions resulted from a series of purposeful actions.

    None of this would have happened, if he had just called the police when his daughter reported being "followed".
    But in Utah's gun-happy culture, the armed need to find a reason to use their guns.

    Please, save us from the vigilantes....and I hope Mrs Campos finds peace while her husband is in prison.
    She should be thinking about past incidents in their lives, and deciding whether this is a marriage she wants to maintain -- because she's the loser in all of it.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    March 25, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    "This is a perfect example of what happens when everybod is carrying."

    Tens of thousands of Utah's citizens have conceal carry permits and own firearms. Four years ago one of them guns down another and you conclude that is what happens when everybody has a weapon. Thousands of gun owners and thousands of hours of neighborhood watch hours without incident and one isolated tragedy four years ago makes you think vigilante justice is replacing the rule of law. Did you miss the part where both men are in prison? Now that is what I call a serious lack of perspective.

  • BleedsBlue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Not wanting to pass judgement on the circumstances of this case, I do want to say that I have to admire the attitude of the wife in being able to choose not to stay in an attitude of bitterness and depression and to be able to see the good that has come out of an extremely difficult situation. I hope I could do the same.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    March 25, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    "He then grabbed his gun and his daughter to went back out to search for the vehicle that had been following them." A very, very unfortunate story across the board. But this statement says is all for me. Nothing would have happened that night if Dad had simply called police to inform them of the situation. Dad had his daughter home safe and sound. Tuck her into bed and go to bed yourself. As citizens we simply can't take the law into our own hands in such a situation. Let the cops take care of this. So, self-defense or attempted murder, this should have never risen to such a level.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 25, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    You can't shoot a person who has a history of DUI for being at someones home with alcohol in it. You can't punish someone because they may at some point commit a crime.

    He is not innocent of shooting someone. The only question is whether he was justified in shooting. What if a sex offender moves onto a block. Does a neighbor have the right to shoot them because they sit in the front yard when their kid walked past on the way to a friends house?

    The wife doesn't have to feel remorse. Just the husband.

  • docport1 ,
    March 25, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Another great argument for gun control. Two machos in the night. What a perfect combination for trouble.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 25, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    I know people who know both parties in this situation. They believe Campos not the other guy. Their feelings about this stituation were validated by the sex crime conviction.

    Me personally? The truth is somewhere in the middle. The dude should be out of prison soon, but they most likely won't let him out because he isn't showing any remorse. That is how the board of pardons works. No remorse, no parole. Doesn't matter if you are guilty or innocent.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 25, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    The vigilante mentality is going to wreck a lot more lives. One of the most alarming ironies I live with in this community is being surrounded by people who go to Church on Sunday but worship guns the rest of the week. Folks, we have a police force. If there's a problem, call them and let it go from there.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    March 25, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Hard to judge as none of us were there. Would like to hear the 16 year olds side of the story. She was there.

    I think most agree he should have called police and stayed home. If we are honest most of us dads would want to go find the person following our daughters. Stupid but true. In this case it turned out bad. If there were no guns then there might have been a fight. And that would have proved little at best too. Personally I see fault on both sides as I think was shared in the article. Sounds like we have a good guy who lost his temper and better jugement deal with a preditor who was out looking for victims (or no good) who also had a gun. Why was he on the streets chasing girls with a gun? A bad guy out looking for bad guys? Come on.

    So what was the proper sentance here? There is some liability for the Dad but I see more to the story on the other guy especially now that we have more of his story. Bottom line it is as ad story. Hope it has a happy ending.

  • Ragnar Danneskjold Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    I really do feel bad for the family, but this guy belongs in prison. You can't chase after someone, cut them off and force them to stop, and then shoot them. How is that self defense? Even the judge said the claim was pathetic.
    This whole piece was really strange. I understand feeling sympathy for the family, and their strength in the church. But don't try to make it sound like the guy got a raw deal.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    March 25, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    doingmybest needs to understand that her three-hour drive is at full speed, 65-75 mph. The cost of gas for that drive is a big burden for someone working part-time (see article), regardless of how much love is involved.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    March 25, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Sounds like the police were jealous that Campos was doing their job for them. It's hard to judge a guy when it's your daughter that is the one being followed. Yea, he should have called the police but we all know that would have gone nowhere and there would have been more girls targeted and maybe one of them dead.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    March 25, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    The first thought that came to me was , this guy needs some anger management real bad. He wouldn't be in jail if he had used control and common sense.

    March 25, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    The sexual predator got out of his car with a gun. If the dad would not of stopped him - what was his intentions? He waa stalking girls and was committed enough to chase them in his truck and get out of his car and flash his gun. This started the self defense dynamics. He was probably shocked that a male got out with a gun also and then it is "He said - He said" claim. The Sexual predator sounds like he was trying to find girls to molest/rape and then it is validated in 2012 with the charges being brought against thie perp that landed him in prison. Under age girls were molested. The dad probably wished he would of called police, but this sexual perp was brazen enough to stay in the area and keep chasing under age neighborhood girls. I know I would of defended my neighborhood. I definitely believe the fathers story and logic more than the sexual perps and would of defended my neighbors daughters as much as my own children. We all just can not stay in our houses while bad things are happening around our neighborhoods.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 25, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    I think this man had the best of intentions, but he used bad judgment in what he did. I'm glad the real bad guy was convicted, but Compos should have just called the police that night. I believe he probably told the truth about what happened at the scene, but it would have been better if he had just avoided the confrontation and called the police.

  • Tiger5 Cache county, USA
    March 25, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    The only problem is, the court got involved.
    We need more of this type of thing, to start sending a message to the purps.

  • doingmybest upland, CA
    March 25, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    I don't presume to know all of the circumstances in this situation, but visiting him only once a month when you only have to drive three hours? Sounds like there are other reasons you're not visiting the man you love every week...I drive three hours to work (one way)some days!

  • BeththeOkie Edmond, OK
    March 25, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    It is relevant that he made a choice to take a gun to go search out a threat to his daughter,but it is also relevant that the man later proven to be a sexual predator also had a gun. And if he had left it up to the police to find the man following the girls, what would they have charged the predator with? There's something to be said for prompt action. If nothing happened that day, the liklihood that a few girls would have been victimized seems pretty high, doesn't it? If my mail had been stolen and my garage burglarized, I'd be doubly alert to threats specifically against my family, too. Why do we think that a bad guy has to bust into our homes before we do anything about it? The predator had made the threat clear by following the girls. I don't argue that once he'd identified the man's vehicle that he should have called the police and the story doesn't mention how many times he fired, but I think the verdict of attempted murder is probably too harsh.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 25, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    As I recall, he could have received a lighter sentence had he apologized but instead he demanded ( the power of the Holy Ghost) to have the judge set him free. Sorry man, that is not how the Holy Ghost works. If we could link articles here I would.

    I support responsible gun ownership. I support neighborhood watch programs. I support the right of a homeowner to do whatever is necessary to neutralized a threat inside a home. I do not support hopping in your car to chase a guy down when your daughter is already in the house. If he had come in the house chasing your daughter then by all means "Let him have it".

    Last thing I would do if I were his wife is to bring attention to myself or my family after a mistake like this. If life is good for them great, but somehow this story comes across as missing the point of being preventable. What of the guy shot was shot had been arrested that night for stalking? The charges in the other case may have still come forward. Beats sitting in jail with murderers and rapists, that's for sure.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 25, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    This is a perfect example of what happens when everybod is carrying. Guns and out of oontrol emotions are not a good combination. I am not anti-gun. Just concerned that we as a society are moving towards vigilante justice instead of rule of law.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 25, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    The point isn't his life changed in an instant. It's that her life and the life of her kids changed in an instant.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 25, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see John Swallow's Attorney General Prosecutorial process in this case of he said and they said type of thing. However, gun ownership doesn't mean you can be a vigilante group when cell phones and 911 are only one tap away. If a gun was in a locked box in the bedroom, it doesn't take forethought to get it out and use it and that is the concern for some that are fearful of gun owners taking the law into their own hands.

    Neighborhood watch doesn't mean that you are an authorized deputy of the law authority for the area. I had an employee who was a reserve officer in a sheriff's department and authorized to carry a weapon when on-duty. However, when he showed up at work with a weapon he was authorized to have as a deputy on-duty, he was not authorized to have it at his place of employment for me. It was against the law for that and he was let go for that action as it was against the law, since he had other violations of having a weapon and threatening with it.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    March 25, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    The whole dream home thing is lame.
    The CPA went postal.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 25, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    A crime is never meant to be. Should of called police. Meant to be I think is justification for a crime.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 25, 2013 5:21 a.m.

    Excessive presence of guns and the accompanying attitude. No good comes from it. None.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    March 25, 2013 5:05 a.m.

    My goodness, what a devastating turn of events, all because one person let his emotions get control over him for just a moment. You would think that somebody smart enough to be a CPA would be wise enough to call police rather than pull a gun. This is what most people would have done and certainly the wise thing to do. But being smart and being wise are all too often independent. My heart goes out to this family. While it is good to try to find some good in situations like this, the only reason it happened is because of very, very bad judgement. Guns and bad judgment are a devastating combination.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    March 25, 2013 4:57 a.m.

    An unfortunate situation brought on by the understandable impulses of a father wanting to protect his daughter.

    But storming out of the house with a gun to go on a vigilante chase across the neighborhood when your daughter is already safe with you at home...What other kind of result do you expect? Someone shot. Someone jailed. A morally muddied situation where family members are left searching scriptures for some kind of meaning behind it all. There was no likely positive outcome from Campos's decision, and no defense for it. What he did was inexcusable.

  • Oh My Heck! Vernal, UT
    March 25, 2013 2:30 a.m.

    My heart aches for you, and I do understand how you feel. My husband was convicted of a crime he did not commit, but we could not prove he had not done what our granddaughter accused him of doing. He spent 6 months in jail, on probation for 5 years, and is now on the sex offenders' registry for 10 years. While he was in jail, I lost my job, and it took about 6 weeks before I found another one. He has been through a High Council court, and they found him not guilty, which was a blessing. Doesn't help the legal problems, but it validated what we already knew to be true. I do know about the depression and frustration, and even anger that you feel. But I paid my tithing, attended the temple and church meetings, and we survived. However, it will be a life sentence for him, and for our family, in many ways. And this experience changed our lives in so many ways. We learned to never take each other for granted, and never miss a chance to say "I love you."

    Best wishes to you and your family, and God bless.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    March 25, 2013 1:49 a.m.

    I've never been charged (or guilty) of anything criminal. However, even in small claims court for me, and in accusations of others in school matters, etc, I have seen enough times when "the law" is not a matter of "justice", but more a matter of "legal zeal". The article is written certainly to favor the Campos side of things. With that said, however, I would, if I were making the decision at his hearing, likely give him, and what happened to Mr Campos in court, the benefit of the doubt. (Not just because his wife is LDS, but mostly because his version of the story, especially given his accuser's apparent other misdeeds, to me, tells me Campos' version is more likely to be the truth. The way that prosecutors prosecute, and the way stories are conveyed via the media, often, IMO, convey to most viewers to believe that what people are accused of is so. I've come to appreciate that VERY MANY of the stories in all media are often distorted at best, and completely misleading and wrong at worse. Judges can and do do many things wrong, and juries can and do often enough misjudge.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 25, 2013 12:47 a.m.

    "It is appalling how crime victims are being persecuted and prosecuted."

    He left his home to look for a man and cut his car off and got out with gun pointed. That is not a lawful act. Had he called police and sat in his home, he would be a free man today instead of a convicted criminal. He is lucky the other guy didn't die or else he would be in jail even longer. Also, if the other guy had died, he would not have been prosecuted for crime against a minor.

    I appreciate that the family is trying to be resilient but I am not going to excuse criminal behavior.

    If the guy had chased your daughter into your home then by all means use whatever force necessary but that is not what happened.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2013 12:41 a.m.

    If he is innocent and this was destined to
    happen, this implies her husband had bad
    karma he needed to deal with.

    That is the other half of what she is saying.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    March 24, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    Prayers are with you and your family. You display such an incredible strength. I hope that your husband finds mercy in the court. It is appalling how crime victims are being persecuted and prosecuted.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 24, 2013 11:51 p.m.

    WHile it is nice they are experiencing some good thing, the mistake by her husband was to leave his own home and pursue when he should have called the police. Would she be saying the same thing if the family had completely come off the rails?

    I'd rather not be in jail and be there for my family then let them flap in the wind hoping things turn out ok.