Jayru Campbell gets new jail term for probation offense
Detroit — Former Cass Tech High School football standout Jayru Campbell will spend 3½ more months in jail for violating his probation in connection with the alleged assault of his girlfriend at school Sept. 12.
During the sentencing hearing Tuesday, Campbell begged the judge to give him leniency.
“I’m a young man,” Campbell, dressed in green jail garb, told Wayne County Judge Timothy Kenny during the early morning hearing. “I made another mistake. I grew up in a violent home with physical and verbal abuse. Don’t give up on me.”
Kenny sentenced Campbell to seven months in jail and 18 months probation. He will remain in the Holmes Youthful Training Act youth offenders program and will continue to get counseling while in the Wayne County Jail.
Kenny told Campbell he was shocked to learn that Campbell had gotten into trouble just hours after his release from jail Sept. 12 and that “putting his hands on a woman is totally and utterly unacceptable and cannot happen again.”
“It was stunning to see how Mr. Campbell violated his terms of (probation) upon release from jail,” said Kenny. The judge said the charges will be dismissed if Campbell does not get into any more trouble during his 18 months of probation.
Campbell will get 98 days credit for time he has already served in the Wayne County Jail, where he has been housed in a younger offenders division. Campbell’s attorney, Jeffrey Edison, said he did not know what arrangements, if any, will be made for Campbell to continue his education while jailed.
Dennis Niemiec, a spokesman for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, said Campbell will remain in the jail with youthful offenders of similar age. While in jail, he receives schooling through a Detroit Public Schools program, Niemiec said.
Kenny denied Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Kam Towns’ request to have Campbell sent to jail for a year, saying it wouldn’t “benefit Mr. Campbell or the community” to do so.
Towns said Campbell did not learn from his first mistake, even though he was given “a break” and the opportunity to “right himself” the first time, when he was sent to jail for attacking a school security guard.
“Clearly, 60 days in jail did not impress upon him the importance of this ... his assaultive actions and how he needs to control his anger,” said Towns. “Within hours of getting out of jail, he returned to the exact same setting where the initial assaultive behavior took place and engaged in assaultive behavior towards (his girlfriend). He’s clearly not getting the message.”
Towns showed a short video of the incident between Campbell and his girlfriend in the stairwell of Cass Tech as he snatched her cellphone from her and shoved the girl away as she tried to retrieve it. A group of Cass Tech athletes showed up during the incident and pulled both Campbell and the girlfriend from each other.
Edison said Campbell realizes he made a mistake again and is ready to address it. Edison asked Kenny for “fairness” in considering his punishment for Campbell. Edison said Campbell is “a late adolescent trying to find his way” and one who has been held up to celebrity status as well as vilified.
“Yes, he did make a mistake when he got out. Yes, he did exercise poor judgment. Yes, he did engage in conduct that was inappropriate behavior. But how do we address that? Do we say you did this. You engaged in this behavior and we just want to throw you away, lock you up, warehouse you? Or does justice and fairness require us to arrive at some balance?”
Campbell had been charged with unarmed robbery and assault, both felonies, in the incident. Those charges were dismissed by 36th District Judge Ruth Carter. The Wayne County prosecutor's office is planning to appeal the dismissal of the two more serious charges, which were felonies.
The domestic violence charge still stands and Campbell has a hearing on the charge Friday in 36th District Court.