DEVELOPING. The Navy announces a sailor has been charged in connection with the brutal shooting murder of Seaman August Provost, the black gay sailor killed while on duty at Camp Pendleton near San Diego on June 30th. The military claims this was part of a "crime spree" but no motive has been provided.
Texas Cable News reports: "Johnathon C. Campos is charged with 16 crimes, including murder. The Navy says he also tried to solicit the murder of another sailor. The sailor was arrested on July 1, but charges weren't filed until Thursday. The Navy said Campos went on a crime spree in late May that included burglary and arson."
The 29-year-old Provost's body was discovered in a guard shack on the morning of June 30, shot three times, reportedly gagged and bound, and his body burned. Authorities said someone "tried to light a fire" at the guard shack but have not confirmed whether Provost was burned. The family confirms and adds the military originally did not tell them this was a homicide and neglected to reveal the manner of death.
Seaman Provost told his family he was harassed and ostracized at Pendleton for at least a year because he was gay and black. The family maintains the killing was a hate crime. The Navy says it is not.
Several motives have been speculated. Rep. Bob Filner (D) of suburban San Diego, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, has previously said the Navy told him that Provost was killed when someone tried to "rush" the guard shack. This dovetails into unconfirmed reports Provost was killed by a fellow servicemember who wanted to vandalize a hovercraft. Last weekend, an aunt had another theory, telling the Dallas Voice an "emotionally disturbed" and deeply closeted gay sailor who feared outing was behind the brutal killing.
The North County Times has the bio and the laundry list of charges against the 32-year-old suspect, described as a gas system technician and facing "murder, arson, unlawful entry, unlawful possession of a firearm and a host of other charges."
Thanks CHRISTOPHER GEIDNER/LAW DORK and LT. RICE