Sailor Charged With Killing Gay Seaman

August Provost was found shot to death in a burning guard house in June

By Eric S. Page and R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Jul 23, 2009  |  Updated 6:01 PM PDT
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Sailor's Mother Demands Answers

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Seaman August Prevos, 29, was a native of Houston.

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Sailor's Mother Demands Answers

The mother of Seaman August Provost talks about her son's experiences before his death and why she says no one protected her son while he was stationed in San Diego.
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Military officials said Thursday that a member of the U.S. Navy was charged with the killing of a sailor who was on guard duty on June 30.

Petty Officer Jonathan Campos of Lancaster, Calif,. was charged Thursday in connection to last month's fatal shooting of Seaman August Provost. Campos will face various counts, including murder, according to a Navy spokeswoman. Several of the charges involve alleged crimes not connected to Provost's death.

Navy officials said Campos, a 32-year-old gas system technician, is being held at the brig and is cooperating with investigators.

Provost, was stationed at Camp Pendleton, was found dead early one morning in late June in a guard shack at the Assault Craft Unit Five compound. While he was standing watch, Provost, 29, was shot five times and then burned in a fire that was set to destroy evidence, according to military investigators.

An investigative Article 32 hearing will be held in the coming weeks in connection with the case, military officials said.

The family said Provost, who was gay, complained of being harassed about his sexuality in the days before his death.

“I don’t know if he reported it or not, but he had several incidents where people came in was picking on him or steal something from him,” Melanie Collins said after her son died. “I told him, ‘Just let it go, BJ. Let it go.’ ”

Navy officials have rejected those claims and said there is no record of Provost filing a harassment report.

Several members of Congress, including Susan Davis, Bob Filner and Sheila Jackson Lee, demanded a full and complete investigation after the killing. Filner said he wanted the Navy to address the possibility that the killer was storming the area of Camp Pendleton that houses Assault Craft Unit 5.

A sailor was taken into custody as a suspect two days after the shooting but was not been identified.

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