Accused SJPD Cop Killer to Take Stand

Officer killed seven years ago.

A man charged with killing a San Jose police officer in 2001 is expected to take the stand in Santa Clara County Superior Court Wednesday.
DeShawn Campbell, 29, is charged with shooting Officer Jeffrey Fontana on Oct. 28, 2001, during a routine traffic stop in the city's Almaden  Valley neighborhood. Fontana, 24, had been on the force only a few months.

Campbell has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder with special circumstances. He was expected to testify around 1:30 p.m., but he could take the stand before then, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

Over the years, the trial has been delayed for a variety of  reasons, including Judge Diane Northway's ruling that Campbell is mildly  retarded, after originally ruling he was not. This means the district attorney's office is unable to pursue the death penalty, according to a 2002  U.S. Supreme Court ruling that executing the mentally retarded violates the  Fifth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual" punishment.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Campbell is expected to put the blame on a friend named Rodney McNary.

McNary has a lengthy criminal past and has apparently skipped town on a parole violation so he will not be able to defend himself.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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