Prosecutor appeals dropped charges for Jayru Campbell

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — The dismissal of three felony charges against former Cass Tech football standout Jayru Campbell was appealed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

The charges — robbery unarmed, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and unauthorized use of a computer — stem from Campbell grabbing his ex-girlfriend’s cellphone out of her hand in September during an incident at the school just hours after he was released from the Wayne County Jail on assault charges for body slamming a school security guard in January 2014.

In dismissing the charges in October, Judge Ruth Carter of 36th District Court said she did not believe it was Campbell’s intent to keep the 17-year-old’s phone and that she also did not believe the prosecutor was able to prove the more serious assault charges.

“I don’t know what (evidence) we have on the video that he was attempting to do great bodily harm to her,” Carter said during the October hearing.

In appealing Carter’s dismissal of the unarmed robbery charges during a hearing Tuesday before Wayne Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny, the prosecutor’s office wrote: “The district court erred in determining that he needed to definitively decide whether defendant had the required intent or not. The lower court’s role was to determine if a question of fact existed that defendant committed the charged offense. The district court was required to grant a bind-over on the charged offense upon the presentation of prima facie evidence that the defendant had the necessary intent.”

The prosecutor’s office also included introduction of evidence that was precluded in court about Campbell’s “other acts” of assaults during the hearing which included the January 2014 video showing Campbell body-slamming the security officer.

“The lower court abused its discretion in both of its determinations that the evidence was unnecessary and substantially more prejudicial,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Based on the lower court’s later determination that there was insufficient evidence that defendant had an intent to cause the (former girlfriend) great bodily harm, Judge Carter was incorrect in determining that a person could simply look at the video and decide whether defendant had the required intent.”

The unarmed robbery charges were among three serious charges dismissed Oct. 20 against Campbell in the assault case involving his former girlfriend. He received probation in the domestic violence case. In November, he was sentenced to 31/2 months in the county jail for violating his probation on the original assault case involving the school security guard.

The unarmed robbery charges against Campbell, 17, involved an incident Sept. 12 in a stairwell at Cass Tech, where videotape from in-school surveillance cameras showed Campbell pushing his 5-foot-2, 115-pound former girlfriend away from him as he grabbed her cellphone and appeared to read texts on it.

Campbell had been charged with intent to do great bodily harm, a felony that could have put him behind bars for up to 10 years upon conviction. He also was charged with unarmed robbery, a domestic violence charge and fraudulent use of a computer (the teen’s cellphone). The domestic violence charge — a 93-day misdemeanor — is the only one that remained in the case.

Kenny is expected to issue an opinion at a later date.

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