Man found guilty in SJ cop's 2001 murder

May 27, 2009 7:21:49 PM PDT
The family of a murdered San Jose police officer finally saw their son's killer convicted today nearly eight years after the shooting. A San Jose jury convicted DeShawn Campbell in the death of rookie officer Jeffrey Fontana.

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The hugs outside the court told one family's story of what happened inside. The guilty verdict was for murdering San Jose police officer Jeffrey Fontana. He was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in 2001.

"Justice was finally served and we were happy. We are thankful that it was served," said Jeffrey's brother Greg Fontana.

The Fontana family is also the first to point out that justice did not come quickly or easily.

"It's just terrible that it's taken seven and a half years to get this far. I don't wish this on anybody. It's been a very difficult seven and a half years," said Jeffrey's mother Sandy Fontana.

The legal case against DeShawn Campbell took many turns, including a ruling by the judge that he suffers from mild retardation and thus was not eligible for the death penalty. That and the defense argument that someone else shot Fontana left the victim's family questioning their rights in the criminal justice system.

"They spent millions of dollars trying to fabricate a story to try and get him off, and for us they did nothing," said Jeffrey's father Tony Fontana.

Campbell's attorney and his family declined to talk afterwards. The police chief spoke on behalf of Fontana's other family-those in law enforcement.

"This case is about Jeffrey Fontana and we will never forget him and we know he is with us today," said Chief Rob Davis from the San Jose Police Department.

Jeffrey Fontana was 24 when his life was cut short. He was just two weeks into what he dreamed would be a lifelong career.

"And the people who have really lost besides his family are the residents of San Jose because Jeff would have made a terrific police officer," said Sandy Fontana.

The final chapter in this case will be written on August 7th -- that is when DeShawn Campbell will be sentenced to life in prison.

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