Fellow Sailor Charged in Provost Murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fellow Sailor Charged in Provost Murder

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The Navy announced that a decorated U.S. Navy petty officer is facing charges of murder and arson for allegedly gunning down a fellow sailor at Camp Pendleton last month and setting fire to his body.

Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster has been in military custody since July 1, the day after the charred body of seaman August Provost, 29, of Houston, Texas, was discovered at a guard shed on the western edge of the sprawling Marine Corps base in northern San Diego County.

Provost had been shot multiple times while on sentry duty, then set ablaze along with the shack, USN Capt. Matt Brown said Thursday at a briefing at Naval Base San Diego.

Despite concerns among gay-rights activists, elected leaders and others, military officials have said there is no evidence that Provost was killed because he was gay.

According to Brown, the slaying occurred after the victim confronted Campos, a military fuel-system technician, as he tried to get into a landing-craft compound so he could set fire to a hovercraft. The captain said the suspect's motive for that alleged plan was unknown.

Military investigators contend that the victim was shot with a .45- caliber pistol that Campus had stolen during a June 13 burglary at a third sailor's home. He then allegedly took Provost's sidearm before setting the fire.

The next day, shortly before his arrest, Campos allegedly contacted a civilian and solicited the murder of another active-duty sailor. The reason for that alleged plot was unclear.

Campos enlisted in the Navy in late December 2001. He has been deployed in the Western Pacific and Middle East and is the recipient of several military decorations, including a good conduct medal. He is a member of Assault Craft Unit 5, as was Provost.

In addition to murder and arson, Campos faces charges of wrongful possession of a firearm, unlawful entry to a military base, carrying a concealed weapon and stealing military property.

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