The teen accused in a bloody Liberty City night club shooting that left 15 people wounded pleaded guilty Wednesday but will do virtually no more jail time.
Eighteen-year-old Will Campbell was sentenced to 366 days in prison, but will be out soon because he gets credit for time he has already served behind bars. Instead, Campbell must complete a program for at-risk youth, two years of house arrest and four years of probation.
The state’s case in the September 2014 shooting was hanging by a thread — based on one eyewitness who was in custody upstate and had stopped cooperating with prosecutors. His availability for trial, and whether he would stick to his story on the stand, was unknown.
Given the risk to both sides at a trial, the state attorney’s office and Campbell’s defense attorney agreed to a sentence that gives Campbell a chance to reform.
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“Even though he’s young, he must grow up,” his defense lawyer, Richard Gregg, told the judge on Wednesday. “It’s more than a fair resolution.”
The shooting at The Spot nightclub was notable both for the number of victims and the fact that many were underage, including an 11-year-old. The nightclub on Northwest 64th Street and Seventh Avenue was later shut down.
The shooting is believed to have stemmed from an earlier fight between two rival gangs. Investigators believed Campbell shot in the direction of another teen, Jamiroquai Young, 17, who was targeting a rival, Trevon Simmons, then 15.
Trevon survived a critical wound to the stomach. Young was arrested and is still awaiting trial.
A former Jackson High student, Campbell had been kicked out of several schools after getting into trouble for possession of marijuana, carrying a knife and truancy. If he violates his probation — or even hangs out with Young — Campbell could be rearrested and face up to 30 years in prison.
“I believe you deserve a second chance, but I’m telling you now, do not disappoint me,” Circuit Judge Stacy Glick told him. “This is your life. Thirty years is a long time.”