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Mom: Add stepson to assault charges

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

SOMERVILLE — The mother of a man charged with brutally beating another man argued that her stepson should face charges as well.

Cheston Jared Campbell, 19, of 91 Bluff City Road is in Morgan County Jail on charges of first-degree assault.

Campbell allegedly stabbed Andrew Bell in the neck with a knife, broke his jaw with brass knuckles and then broke his leg by running into him with a vehicle, Somerville police said.

But some of Campbell's relatives say there was more to the March 14 fight at the home of his half-brother, Brent Campbell, than police initially revealed.

Karen Campbell said her son's car has 11 bullet holes in it from where Brent Campbell attacked him with a rifle as he tried to leave the residence.

"When he went and got into his car, he was being shot at," she said.

Karen Campbell said the bullets struck the area of the car's engine compartment. She found five casings stuck between the windshield and the hood, she said.

"I would think, if there were bullets flying, somebody would have looked into it a little further," she said.

Somerville Police Chief Joe Mann said this week that Brent Campbell had fired an SKS or similar semi-automatic rifle at Jared Campbell's car that night. Mann said he is not pursuing charges against Brent Campbell at this time.

"His brother was trying to keep him from running over anybody else," Mann said. "From what we could
determine in our investigation, Brent had probably saved some other folks from getting hurt that night."

Mann said more details of the case would come out at trial.

Bell, who was taken to Huntsville Hospital, was not the only person injured. Jared Campbell was taken to Decatur General Hospital following the incident.

"He had choke marks around his neck, blue marks and red marks where he'd been hit and scratched and everything else," said Karen Campbell.

She said her son was also under the influence of alcohol and drugs given to him by his 23-year-old brother.

Brent Campbell got Jared Campbell intoxicated and then he and Bell jumped him, Karen Campbell said.

She said she believes everyone involved should face charges.

"If everybody's breaking the law, then do your job with all of them. ... If you don't do your job all the way around, as bad as it is at some point in time, something horrible is going to happen. I don't feel you can do an effective job unless you do it with everybody," she said.

But Mann said the fight began with Jared Campbell losing his temper.

"It's sad, really, that every time these two get together something happens. It's just a shame that these two young men can't get along," he said, referring to the half-brothers.

Jared Campbell was indicted by a grand jury last year on a first-degree assault charge for allegedly stabbing Brent Campbell in the leg.

Karen Campbell said police haven't listened to her son's side of the story.

Mann said he has interviewed Jared Campbell in past incidents but hasn't had an opportunity to talk to him this time. Jared Campbell is in jail with bond on previous charges revoked.

Rather than waiting on a grand jury, he said, he felt obligated to put Jared Campbell behind bars quickly to safeguard the welfare of others.

Jared Campbell now faces two charges of first-degree assault and a charge of hindering prosecution. Morgan County sheriff's investigators said they believe he helped hide the body of a man allegedly killed by three others over a drug debt.

Regarding her son's alleged behavior, Karen Campbell said, "Everybody's been trying to give him hell about it for years. He is who he is, and he's got problems stemming from way back."

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