Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sailor Suspected of Murder Commits Suicide

A sailor who committed suicide in the Camp Pendleton brig while being held on suspicion of murdering a fellow sailor had twice tried to end his life before while in military custody, it was reported today.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster, was on suicide watch in a cell that was monitored with closed-circuit video when he choked himself to death with toilet paper last Friday.

His death has spurred Marine Corps Installations West and Camp Pendleton to conduct an internal investigation on the brig's procedures for suicidal detainees and prisoners, a Marine spokeswoman told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Campos was found about 12:20 p.m. Friday, taken to the base hospital and declared dead about 1:15 p.m. Navy officials said they last checked on Campos at 11:45 a.m. and found him well, according to the Union-Tribune.

A Navy regulation mandates that suicidal prisoners need to be "physically checked every five minutes." Another Navy regulation mandates that such individuals "shall be placed in special quarters under continuous observation."

Navy and Marine officials did not specify when, where or how Campos tried to kill himself on the two earlier occasions, the Union-Tribune reported.

Campos was charged with murdering Seaman August Provost, 29, on June 30 about 2 a.m., while Provost was in the sentry station outside the landing craft facility at Camp Pendleton.

Campos was charged with murder, drug possession, burglary and several other crimes. Provost was shot several times as Campos was allegedly trying to get onto the base to destroy property and attack other sailors.

Provost was gay but, at the time Campos was charged, Navy officials said there was no evidence the killing was a hate crime.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.