Campbell gets more probation for assault
Detroit — Former Cass Tech High School football standout Jayru Campbell was sentenced Wednesday to more probation for a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend at school.
The incident at Cass Tech occurred Sept. 12, hours after he was released from jail, where he had been serving time for injuring a school security guard.
36th District Judge Ruth Carter said Campbell will have a year of probation after he finishes serving the seven months in jail he received for an earlier probation violation.
Carter also ordered Campbell to have no contact with the complainant and that his drug testing also look for steroid use. Carter said Campbell must complete 40 hours of community service and participate in a mentoring program.
Campbell, 17, also has to participate in domestic violence counseling and/or anger management, Carter said.
The judge said she hoped Campbell would finish school in the future.
"Right now, I'm doing my homework while I'm incarcerated," said Campbell, who expressed hope to return to Cass Tech. If not, he said he could take online courses.
Campell's defense attorney, Jeffrey Edison, noted at the start of the sentencing hearing that former Mayor Dave Bing, who was present in court, has expressed support for Campbell.
"He knows that he has to change and make better choices and decisions in the future," Edison said.
Meanwhile, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Kam Towns argued in court that Campbell had been given "multiple opportunities" to change and deserved a strong penalty.
"Within hours of being released (in September), he's back to assaulting his girlfriend," said Towns, who asked the judge for the maximum penalty at sentencing. "Quite frankly, he needs to get the message that he needs to act appropriately."
Towns also disputed the defense's assertion the judge's sentence should help Campbell stay out of the "school-to-prison pipeline."
"It's not a pipeline that someone pushes you into," Towns said. "That's a path Mr. Campbell put himself on."
Edison said Campbell was ready to learn from his mistakes.
"This has been a traumatic experience for him," Edison said. "And he doesn't offer anything to minimize his behavior and certainly accepts responsibility."
Campbell pleaded guilty Nov. 7 to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in the case. He previously was sentenced to seven months in jail for violating his probation in connection with the assault of his girlfriend. At that time, he was on probation for the January assault of a school security guard.
Campbell also had been charged with unarmed robbery and assault, both felonies. Those charges were dismissed in October by Carter.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office appealed that ruling to Wayne County Circuit Court; the appeal will be heard Jan. 20 before Judge Margaret Van Houten.
Bing said following Wednesday's sentencing that he was in court to support Campbell.
"I've gone to visit him a couple times while he's been in jail and he knows he's made a mistake, more than once," Bing said. "He also knows he can't make another mistake."
Bing said he first met Campbell following the January assault on a Cass Tech security guard.
"I knew his coach, so I asked for a meeting … just to see if I could be helpful," he said.
Going forward, Bing said he hopes Campbell will join the Bing Youth Institute for mentoring after his release from jail.
The program was created in June to match young men with adult mentors for a year, Bing said. Sixty students from four Detroit Public Schools are being matched with mentors, and there are plans to add more next year.
"If we start quitting on these kids because they made a mistake ... shame on us," Bing said.
Bing said Campbell is receptive to the program.
"I think he knows that he's got two strikes against him and he knows he cannot make another mistake," he said.
Staff writer Oralandar Brand-Williams contributed.