General Crime

*DeShawn Campbell Expected To Testify For The Murder Of San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana On Oct. 28, 2001

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A man charged with killing a San Jose police officer in 2001 is expected to take the stand in Santa Clara County Superior Court today.DeShawn Campbell, 29, is charged with shooting Officer Jeffrey Fontana on Oct. 28, 2001, during a routine traffic stop in the city’s Almaden Valley neighborhood. Fontana, 24, had been on the force only a few months. Campbell has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder with special circumstances. He was expected to testify around 1:30 p.m., but he could take the stand before then, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.Over the years, the trial has been delayed for a variety of reasons, including Judge Diane Northway’s ruling that Campbell is mildly retarded, after originally ruling he was not. This means the district attorney’s office is unable to pursue the death penalty, according to a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that executing the mentally retarded violates the Fifth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment.

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