August Provost’s Suspected Killer Charged (But Not of a Hate Crime)


Last month’s murder (and attempted burning) of Navy sailor August Provost finally has someone on the hook for the death: fellow seaman Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos. He’s got 16 charges against him.

Murder. Arson. Unlawful entry. Theft. Wrongful possession. Oh, and this: “He also is charged with soliciting a civilian in San Diego to murder another sailor the day after Provost’s killing.”


Navy investigators say Provost, 29, and Campos, 32, likely knew each other, but not well. They’re also standing by their first inclination: There’s no evidence Provost was killed because of his sexuality or race, despite accusations made by his family and local activists. (The latest rumor to fly around? That Provost’s killer murdered him to keep from being outed himself.)

Either way, it’s been a sad few weeks for all those involved. If this turns out not to be a hate crime, Provost’s family won’t be any less pained. And we’ve still lost one of our own.


Navy officials accuse Campos of using hallucinogenic mushrooms several times between May 1 and June 2.

On June 13, he allegedly broke into the off-base home of a fellow service member in San Diego and stole an Xbox computer-game system, jewelry and a .45 caliber Kimber pistol. The same pistol was used to kill Provost, investigators allege.

On June 20, Campos was picked up for driving under the influence. About a week later, he faced administrative punishment from his Navy commanders.

At the time, Brown said, the Navy had not linked Campos to the home burglary.

About 11:30 p.m. June 30, Provost took his post at a guard shack along the driveway to the assault craft unit’s entrance.

Sometime before 3:30 a.m., Navy officials allege, Campos approached the guard shack, shot Provost several times and stole his 9mm Beretta service pistol. Campos then allegedly set fire to the shack – with Provost’s body still inside – using gasoline and a lighter.

“He apparently did it to destroy evidence,” Brown said.

Campos also is accused of planning to set fire to one of the unit’s landing craft, but he never made it into the compound.