The seaman being held in the brig of
the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton charged with the death of a gay
sailor was found unresponsive Friday, the 'Houston Chronicle'
Petty Officer Jonathan Campos was
charged last month with the death of August Provost, a gay sailor
found dead on June 30 in a Camp Pendleton guard shack near San Diego.
Campos was pronounced dead at 1:15PM on
Friday. A military news release listed the cause of death as
Campos was taken into custody on July 1
but military prosecutors officially charged with him the death of
Provost last week.
Provost of Houston, Texas was found
dead about 3:30AM on June 30, a Tuesday.
“While allegedly attempting to gain
access to the ACU FIVE compound Campos encountered Seaman Provost at
the sentry station at which point Campos allegedly shot him multiple
times,” said Captain Matt Brown, a Navy spokesman for Navy Region
Southwest, in announcing the charges last week. “In an apparent
effort to conceal evidence after Seaman Provost was shot, Campos
allegedly took the sentry's firearm, and then set fire to the guard
The murder charge was the most serious
charge leveled against the seaman. The Navy also charged Campos, 32,
with arson, unlawful entry, theft of military property and wrongful
possession of a firearm, among other charges.
The Navy insists there is no evidence
to suggest that Provost was a victim of an anti-gay hate crime: “No
information has been gathered to date to support allegations of a
hate crime,” Brown said. Several family members have said that
Provost had complained about being harassed by fellow sailors because
he was gay, and pointed out that he likely remained silent to avoid
tripping over the Navy's ban on open gay service.
Campos, a decorated sailor who joined
the Navy in 2001, had been involved in a rash of criminal activity,
including a June 13 break-in of a sailor's residence where he stole
an Xbox and the .45-caliber pistol used to kill Provost, a June 20
drunk driving arrest, and a July 1 solicitation to murder another
active-duty sailor, Brown said.
“We must remember that the Navy lost
a well-respected sailor who was standing his assigned watch in his
appointed place of duty,” Brown said. “Our thoughts and
condolences go out to the family and friends of Seaman Provost, and
we will continue to provide support and assistance to the family.”
Provost joined the Navy in March 2008,
after completing three years of college, to help finance his
education. He was studying to become an architectural engineer.