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Sailor accused of killing fellow seaman commits suicide in custody

July 31, 2009 | 10:13 pm

The sailor accused of murdering a fellow seaman who was on guard duty at Camp Pendleton committed suicide in the base brig, Navy officials said today.

Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster was found unresponsive in his cell about 12:20 p.m. and rushed to the base hospital. He was pronounced dead at approximately 1:15 p.m.

Campos, a petty officer 2nd class, had apparently asphyxiated himself with toilet paper, officials said.

He had been on suicide watch in the brig and had last been checked at 11:45 a.m., according to a Navy release.

Campos was accused of murdering August Provost, 29, on June 30, while Provost was in the sentry station outside the landing craft facility at Camp Pendleton.

The officials had charged Campos with murder, drug possession, burglary and several other crimes. He was attempting to enter the base to destroy property and attack other sailors when he shot Provost.

When they announced the charges against Campos, Navy officials said there was no evidence that the killing was a hate crime. Provost was gay.

While Provost and Campos were in the same Navy command, there is no indication that they knew each other, officials said.

Provost was on duty at the sentry station about 2 a.m. on June 30 when Campos confronted him.

-- Tony Perry