Today good news for a University of South Alabama student and Iraqi War vet who’s been battling his way through a maze of bureaucracy and lack of common sense.
When John Campbell got back from class today to his home in Prichard, there was his car.
Bay City Towing brought it there for free and gave Campbell $125 to help with repairs.
Just one of the many acts of generosity Campbell’s received from News 5 viewers during his ordeal.
“I was really surprised,” said Campbell. “I appreciate everybody that came together to help me.”
The best news came from District Attorney Ashley Rich after News 5 brought Campbell’s story to her attention.
“As soon as (heard about the case), I had an assistant district attorney file a motion to null proc the case and take it immediately down to Judge Hardesty and Judge Hardesty signed it so there are no charges pending against him,” said Rich.
Campbell was arrested September 3rd and charged with a felony, even though the car was registered and tagged in his name. The problem was that the car was reported stolen in Prichard years ago, and even though that eventually got cleared up, the case wasn't’t taken out of the system.
“I can only apologize that he got caught up in the system because people many years ago didn’t do their job,” said Rich.
Rich says it’s inexcusable that USA and Prichard Police wouldn’t let Campbell even get his lap top and school work out of the car for 13 days causing him to fall behind in his studies.
“There are a lot of balls that got dropped in this case,” said Rich.
“Over the weekend I’ll be doing a whole lot of making up and thru the week but I’ll be able to handle it and catch up,” said Campbell.
Campbell says during his arrest, USA Officer Tevis Austin pointed his gun at him. USA says Officer Austin only “unholstered” his weapon. Last fall, Austin shot and killed naked freshman Gil Collar on campus. He was cleared of criminal wrong doing and returned to work
Campbell still has a couple of legal loose ends to tie up. First, he’ll need to file a motion to get his arrest expunged from his record. The D.A. says her office will help with that. Second, he’ll have to contact the Sheriff’s Office and his bail bondsman to see if he can get back the $750 he had to pay to get out of jail.
And, if and when he ever gets some free time, Campbell knows what he’ll be doing
“6-8 months I can get it where I want it to be.”
He plans to fully restore the 1977 Lincoln Continental to its original grandeur
Glad to see the D.A. helping in this manner, but unfortunately Alabama has no true expungement measure. This is a key reason a solid expungement measure is needed.