Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jury Returns Verdict in San José Cop Killing Trial—Guilty!

Deputy District Attorney Lane Liroff 

San José Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana

The Fontana family has made the trip to Santa Clara County Superior Court Department 38 too many times to count over the past 7 ½ years. After today, they have one more trip to Judge Diane Northway’s courtroom, and justice will be served. That one last trip will be for the sentencing hearing of DeShawn Campbell.

Campbell has been found guilty of murdering San José Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana on October 28, 2001. Campbell faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Police actually solved this case quickly—and it wasn’t hard to do. Campbell left his father’s tan Hyundai (keys in the car) in the cul-de-sac where he’d gunned down Jeff after (presumably) a routine traffic stop. Residents of the cul-de-sac reported hearing one set of footsteps running from the scene. The car was quickly traced back to Campbell’s father, who tried to tell police that he’d sold the car to a Hispanic woman.

Only problem was that was a lie, and DeShawn’s prints were all over the car.

The gun used to assassinate Jeff was quickly traced to Campbell’s house. The gun was dismantled by one of Campbell's friends.

Campbell was on the run—for less than two weeks.

The long and winding road to justice in this case has had more than its share of roadblocks—attorneys removed because of conflict of interest, psychologist shopping to find someone who would declare Campbell mentally retarded, taking the death penalty off the table. Through all of this, the Fontanas maintained a quiet dignity, sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom, reminding the court that this was a murder trial, and that one of their own was the one dead.

For an excellent chronicle of the trial, check out Greg Fontana’s blog, Justice for Jeffrey.

Thanks to the jury, who managed to see the truth through all of the defense’s B.S., and peace and blessings to the Fontana family.

Jeff would be proud.

DeShawn Campbell found guilty in shooting death of San Jose police officer

Verdict Reached in DeShawn Campbell Trial


Sprocket said...

Finally. This family will have closure that the murderer of officer Fontana is behind bars, hopefully for life.

Sprocket said...

Finally. This family will have closure that the murderer of officer Fontana is behind bars, hopefully for life.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how long this case took. Well the right verdict came down. Congratulations to the Santa Clara DA's office.

ritanita said...

I'm so glad the family can rest knowing this guy won't be on the streets anyomre. He'll be where he deserves to be.

katfish said...

RIP Jeffery Fontana! Your service will forever be a reminder of the risk that police officers face daily to keep the streets safe for the rest of us and will not be forgotten.
Thanks for the coverage Caligirl9!