Mother of inmate who died in Bexar County jail claims son was murdered

BCSO says inmate Jonathan Campos killed himself

SAN ANTONIO – The mother of a capital murder suspect who was found nearly dead in his cell in the Bexar County jail claimed her son didn’t take his own life.

"My son did not commit suicide. My son was murdered," said Christine Serrano, Jonathan Campos’s mother.

Campos was facing a capital murder charge in the death of 7-year-old Iris Rodriguez when the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said he attempted suicide. Jail guards found the 22-year-old inmate in his cell, near death, just before 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Keith said Campos had already died by the time they could get him medical help.

Serrano, however, believes her son died by another's hand. She said she heard there was a hit out on him over his alleged involvement in the Rodriguez murder.

Serrano also claims before her son died, he had told her guards had challenged him to fight on at least two occasions and that he'd even been injured some.

"I've heard, by several people, that the guards took it upon themselves but also heard that guards opened the cell and let two inmates in and killed my son," Serrano said.

Serrano didn’t name any of the people who had given her this information.

The sheriff’s office said Campos took his own life.

"This young man committed suicide and that's tough for this family to accept," Keith said.

Keith said Campos was in a maximum security unit when he died, and there was no evidence of any foul play.

"That unit is constantly monitored by deputies," he said. "It's also under video surveillance. Our investigators have reviewed all of that."

Keith said Campos had a minor squabble with a deputy last Thursday, two days before his death. No one was injured in that squabble.

Keith called Serrano's claim ridiculous.

"He's accused of killing a child. He has children himself," Keith said. "You sit and think about that long enough, who knows what goes through your head?"

The Bexar County medical examiner lists Campos's cause of death as hanging and his manner of death as suicide.

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.