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Parole set for Utah man in neighborhood watch shooting

Published September 23, 2013 12:21 pm

Parole • Campos scheduled to be released from prison in July 2014.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Bluffdale man who shot and paralyzed a fellow neighborhood watch advocate has been given a July 2014 parole date.

By the time Reginald Campos, 47, is released from prison on July 22, 2014, he will have spent nearly four years in prison for events surrounding the 2009 shooting of David Serbeck.

Campos shot Serbeck in their Bluffdale neighborhood because he believed Serbeck and another man were stalking his daughter, according to evidence presented at his 2010 trial.

Campos was convicted of first-degree felony attempted murder for shooting Serbeck and was sentenced to up to life in prison in September 2010. He also was convicted of third-degree felony aggravated assault for pointing his gun at Serbeck's companion that night.

Campos had a parole hearing on Sept. 12, and six days later, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole set the 2014 release date, according to parole board spokesman Jim Hatch.

Meanwhile, the Utah State Court of Appeals recently reversed Campos' attempted murder conviction, ruling that Campos' trial attorneys failed to object to an inaccurately worded verdict form, and failed to object when a prosecutor attacked Campos' character and suggested the jury find him guilty out of vengeance or sympathy for Serbeck, rather than based on facts.

While the appeals court reversed the attempted murder conviction, they affirmed the conviction for aggravated assault, which cannot exceed a sentence of five years.

Campos shot Serbeck on the night of July 22, 2009, after Campos' teenage daughter came home and said she had been followed by an SUV.

Campos — a certified public accountant who had become a neighborhood watch advocate following a recent influx of crime in the area — responded by getting a gun and, with his daughter, ventured out into the neighborhood.

Campos allegedly told police he left with his daughter to look for the SUV. But Campos said during his parole hearing that he went driving in an attempt to calm his daughter.

"She was hysterical," Campos said. "I started driving just to calm her down."

Campos said just before he finished driving the three-mile road that looped back around to his home, he saw headlights from what looked like a truck or SUV, and he decided "to see what was going on."

When Campos spotted Serbeck's SUV, he pulled in front, forcing it to stop, and jumped out of his vehicle waving a gun and screaming about someone following his daughter, according to Serbeck's testimony at the trial.

During the ensuing confrontation, Serbeck, who also carried a loaded gun, claimed at trial that he lowered his gun by the barrel, kicked it away and stepped from behind his car door, saying, "Let's talk," before Campos shot Serbeck in the chest, paralyzing him.

"Had I not had the gun, it's very doubtful that I would have ever pulled in front [of Serbeck's vehicle] and stopped," Campos said during his parole hearing. "But I had that gun with me. It gave me the false sense of security that I could protect myself if needed."

Serbeck — who also had advocated forming a neighborhood watch program — and his companion that night, Troy Peterson, had reportedly followed Campos' daughter because they thought her vehicle was suspicious.

Campos said during his parole hearing that he plans to live with his wife and family when he is released, and will continue working as a CPA.

Serbeck is in prison for an unrelated crime. In March 2012, he was convicted on three counts of third-degree felony unlawful sexual activity with a minor and was sentenced last June to prison for up to 10 years.

Prosecutors say Serbeck, 40, groomed a 17-year-old neighbor in the summer of 2007, exploiting her trouble with depression and having sex with her three times at his Magna home.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller