.يولد جميع الناس أحرارا متساوين في الكرامة والحقوق. وقد وهبوا عقلا وضميرا وعليهم أن يعامل بعضهم بعضا بروح الإخاء‎
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Despite the apparent suicide of its prime suspect, the Navy will continue to investigate the death of Seaman August Provost III, the gay sailor shot to death at the base in late June, a Navy spokesman said.

"The investigation into Seaman Provost's death is continuing - that has not changed," said Brian O'Rourke, spokesman for the Navy Region Southwest. "We have Seaman Provost's family's interests at heart. We owe them explanations or answers. We owe them that."

Provost's family and gay rights advocates have said that the sailor's death was a hate crime and have urged the Navy to disclose more details of its investigation.

Navy officials maintain that Provost's death was not a hate crime.

They've said he was instead apparently the victim of a crime spree by Petty Officer Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster, who planned to set fire to one of the landing crafts Provost was guarding at the time of the killing.

Campos, who was taken into custody just days after the killing, was found unresponsive Friday at 12:21 p.m. in his brig cell at Camp Pendleton.

He was pronounced dead at the base hospital an hour later, apparently after ingesting toilet paper, officials have said.

An investigation has been opened into his death, as well, the Navy spokesman said Monday, calling such a move "standard for the circumstances."

Campos, a gas system technician assigned to the same Assault Craft Unit 5 as Provost, was charged last month with murder, solicitation to commit murder, arson, theft, unlawful entry and a host of other crimes in connection with Provost's killing June 30.

While in military custody, Campos tried twice to commit suicide, O'Rourke said Monday.

The spokesman said he did not know how Campos tried to kill himself those times, but that it was a by different method.

Campos had been alone in his cell on a suicide watch at the brig, with guards visually checking on him every five minutes and speaking with him every 30 minutes, the spokesman said. A guard last spoke with Campos at 11:45 a.m., officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Marine Corps base said late Monday that Campos had been "under constant supervision," and that a log shows a guard visually checked him every five minutes. The spokeswoman, Maj. Kristin Lasica-Khaner, noted that Campos was in a cell with 24-hour per day close-circuit video monitoring.

She did not immediately know whether investigators have reviewed video from just before the apparent suicide attempt.

Records from the last five years show no suicides at the Marine Corps base's brig, she added.

Officials with the Navy and the San Diego County medical examiner's office said they had not heard of any prior suicides committed by toilet paper ingestion.

"It's not something I've ever seen or heard of," O'Rourke said.

He said an autopsy is scheduled this week on Campos, although he did not know exactly when.

He said more information about the suicide, including how much paper Campos apparently ingested and an exact cause of death, would be revealed in that examination.

Through statements from Campos and the Navy's investigation, officials learned that Campos stole a .45 caliber Kimber pistol and an Xbox video game system, video games and jewelry from another servicemember's home on or near June 13.

O'Rourke said the pistol was the same one used to kill Provost.

Campos also took Provost's 9 mm Beretta handgun after the shooting, and was charged with wrongful possession of that gun, O'Rourke said.

Also after Provost's killing, investigators learned that Campos had been taking psilocybin mushrooms, a hallucinogenic, from May 1 through June 2, the spokesman said.

O'Rourke said he did not immediately know whether military officials had reprimanded Campos for any crimes on base in the weeks or months leading up to the killing.

He said Campos had been arrested by civilian police June 20 on suspicion of driving under the influence in Imperial Beach

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