New details released about man accused of strangling cousin to death with belt

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County prosecutors have charged 44-year-old Andrew Campos with the murder of his cousin, 43-year-old Christopher Campos, last Wednesday morning.

The complaint also alleges Andrew used a belt to strangle him to death.

The news came as a shock to Dr. Janice Rice, who runs a Christian non-profit in Porterville and had Andrew in one of her drug diversion programs a couple of years ago.

"He liked it because it was Christian, too," Rice said. "And he was trying to live for God at that time and really did really well for a while. He's a lot of fun, he's not an ugly person."

But Campos has a troubled past, including a long list of criminal convictions in Tulare County.

In 2016, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as giving false information to a police officer.

The Porterville Police report from that case describes Campos as an ex-Norteno gang member who was also drunk and uncooperative at the time of his arrest.

In the summer of 2014, Tulare County Sheriff's deputies found Campos drunk in a field near Highway 65.

After being arrested and driven to the sheriff's substation, Campos became physically and verbally combative with the deputies, at one point saying, "I did eleven years in the pen. You think I'm scared to (blank) up a cop?"

Campos has served time in state prison, but not 11 years.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Campos was sent to prison for two years in 2003 for a drug-related conviction.

In 2008, while still on parole, CDCR officials say Campos was sentenced to another two-year term for possession of a firearm by a felon.

In that case, Campos ran from CHP officers following a traffic stop on the east side of Porterville.

An officer eventually tased Campos several times and took him into custody.

He then interviewed him at the hospital.

"I asked Campos why he was running and he related to me that he was under the influence of alcohol and on CDC Parole and that he did not want to be caught drinking," the officer wrote in his report.

Campos had a court hearing in Porterville on Wednesday morning.

He's scheduled to return to court next Monday.

For the most recent charges, Campos faces life in prison if convicted.
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