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Utah neighborhood watch shooter’s release could be delayed

First Published Jul 16 2014 05:43PM      Last Updated Jul 16 2014 10:11 pm

The parole of a Bluffdale man convicted of shooting a fellow neighborhood watch advocate, which had been scheduled for next week, could be delayed.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole held a hearing Wednesday to consider whether to release Reginald Campos, 48, from prison on Tuesday — the day the panel had set last year for his parole on an aggravated assault conviction.

A decision is pending and expected in the next few days. Campos, who attended the hearing, has been in prison for almost four years and the maximum time he can be required to serve is five years.



The issue came up because the Utah Court of Appeals reversed Campos’ conviction on a second charge, first-degree felony attempted murder, in August. A month later, the parole board had scheduled his July 22, 2014, release on the aggravated assault charge, which then was his only remaining conviction.

To resolve his case after the appeals court decision, Campos pleaded guilty in April to a second-degree felony discharge of a firearm. Third District Judge Mark Kouris immediately sentenced him to 1 to 15 years in prison, but suspended the sentence.

The parole hearing was called so members could consider whether the guilty plea to the firearm charge should affect Campos’ release date.

The incident that landed Campos in prison took place on July 22, 2009, after his 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 to find the vehicle.

When he spotted the SUV, Campos forced it to stop and jumped out of his vehicle waving a gun, according to testimony at a 2010 tria. David Serbeck — who, along with another man, reportedly was following Campos’ daughter because they thought her vehicle was suspicious — stepped out of the SUV and was shot by Campos.

Campos was convicted of attempted murder for shooting Serbeck, who was left permanently paralyzed. Campos was sentenced to prison for up to life. He also received a sentence of zero to 5 years for aggravated assault for pointing his gun at Serbeck’s companion that night.

On appeal, the attempted murder charge was thrown out after Campos’ attorney successfully argued that his trial lawyers had botched his case by failing to object to a badly worded verdict form.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Campos said he should have called the police when his daughter told him what happened and let officers handle the situation.

When asked what he would say to Serbeck if he were there, Campos said: "I’d tell him I’m sorry for the situation that I put him in and that I wish him the best and I hope that he’s able to move on, as I’m trying to move on as well."

Serbeck 41, is in prison for an unrelated crime. In March 2012, he was convicted on three counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, all third-degree felonies, and has been ordered to spend up to 10 years in prison for the crimes. His next parole board hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2015.

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

 

 

 

 

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