Man sentenced to life for killing SJ cop

August 7, 2009 5:31:17 PM PDT
Nearly eight years after a San Jose police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty, the family today got the justice they had waited so long for.

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Emotion video played in court Friday morning showed images from the life of Jeffrey Fontana, a San Jose police officer who was shot and killed in 2001. His best friend wrote the song that played over the pictures.

Deshawn Campbell watched the video and listened as the judge sentenced him to not only life in prison without the possibility of parole, but every possible sentence that could be added on for his crimes, including an additional 25 years to life.

It was a victory for the prosecution and the Fontana family.

"Life sentences don't always mean life, and we wanted to make sure he never sees the light of day again," said the victim's brother, Greg Fontana.

Before sentencing, Fontana's mother, his two brothers and San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis addressed the court and pleaded for the maximum sentence. Each talked about their devastating loss. The police chief said Fontana's murder had the same impact on the department as September 11 had on the nation.

"We could tell you where we were, who told us the news, how we felt, who was the first person was we called," said Davis.

Campbell's family still contends it was someone else who pulled the trigger.

"They don't care, they just want somebody to take the rap," said the defendant's brother, Edwin Campbell. "That's it, and that's not fair."

The Fontana family called Campbell a coward in court for not admitting to the killing and are grateful for the strong sentence.

"The person who killed Jeffrey has been given the most he could be given under the circumstances, but nothing will bring Jeffrey back," said the victim's mother, Sandy Fontana. "Nothing will bring my beautiful son back."

As he walked away from the nearly eight-year court battle, Tony Fontana was wearing his son's jacket.

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