By Brinda Kalita and Luke Kyaw
WOODLAND, CA – The jury trial of Chandale Shannon, Jr., and Jesus Campos for allegedly participating in the murder of two teens—Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios—for stealing marijuana proceeded here Thursday in Yolo County Superior Court.
The first witness called was a friend of Shannon, Campos, and the Froste brothers (who have already been convicted for the killing of the teens) as well as an acquaintance of Enrique and Elijah.
In her testimony, the witness shared that she had been in contact with Elijah and Enrique prior to their disappearance.
The three had gone to the Yolo County Fair together, she said, noting that during their visit, the two teens had asked her for a “cop gun” in order to shoot some cans. The witness then gave them her BB gun.
The witness then detailed her relationships with Shannon, Campos, and the Froste brothers. She revealed that she was close friends with Shannon and she was on good terms with Campos and Jonathan Froste.
However, she was not on good terms with David Froste, she said, remembering they would often get into arguments, which were mostly related to the witness talking to police officers.
Her relationship with David Froste eventually stopped her from interacting with the group as a whole. This, she said, was because the other three looked up to David.
Deputy District Attorney David Wilson also attempted to ask the witness some more questions about what she was discussing with the police and why David Froste did not want her to do so.
However, the witness only revealed that her discussions with the police had nothing to do with Campos, Shannon, or the missing teens.
She also started to feel uncomfortable about this line of questioning and DDA Wilson retracted his questions.
The next witness to be called was a friend of Jesus Campos, and said he had known Campos for more than 10 years, and the two teens often smoked marijuana and played games together.
The witness then shared a story about one of his hangouts with Campos, where Campos allegedly admitted Shannon, the Froste brothers, and he shot a teen to death, and beat another one with a stick to death.
Campos then told the witness that he would “beat your a** if you shared this story.”
During cross-examination, Defense Attorneys John Spangler and David Nelson attempted to poke holes in the witness’s recollection of the conversation with Campos and questioned why the witness did not go to the police after being threatened.
The witness then revealed that he feared for not only his own safety but the safety of his friends and family. Hence, he never shared this information until recently.
However, the witness assured the attorneys that his memory of the conversation was accurate.
After the lunch break, DDA Wilson called Detective Benjamin Yen to the stand.
Yen, a senior detective with the Woodland Police Department, had assisted Detective Matt Jameson—the lead detective for this particular case—in his investigation.
On Jan. 18, 2017, he helped execute the search warrant for Shannon’s address where he found the latter hiding deep within a closet in one of the bedrooms.
Shannon was allegedly screaming profanities at all of them and ultimately ended up handcuffed and escorted to Yen’s patrol car because of his uncooperativeness, said Yen.
When asked if Shannon had been arrested at that point for the homicide charge, Yen clarified that he was detained mainly because of potential interference with the search warrant and that he was unsure whether Shannon was under arrest or not.
During the detainment, Detective Yen also observed from outside the vehicle an FBI agent and Deputy Hollenbeck going inside the patrol car to talk with Shannon.
DDA Wilson then asked Yen about the two vehicles which had been seized that day as well as another vehicle seized a week later. They respectively belonged to Shannon, Jonathan Froste, and David Froste.
Detective Yen had been physically present when the FBI was conducting searches inside the cars, he said, noting that in Jonathan Froste’s vehicle, a digital scale—which Yen claimed was frequently used to weigh narcotics before sale—as well as a glass jar of marijuana were found.
When DDA Wilson asked Detective Yen if there were any obvious bloodstains inside the vehicles, Yen said no, and that he would have documented it if that were the case.
The next witness called to the stand was police Officer John Ney from the City of Davis, who had worked as a deputy with the Yolo County’s Sheriff Department for about 25 years and assisted in the missing persons investigation for Elijah and Enrique in 2018.
Ney recounted that David Froste, a suspect in the case, had already been in custody at the time due to other reasons.
David Froste had been granted a one-day leave to attend his father’s funeral on Feb. 28, 2018, on the condition that Jonathan Froste accompany him and return him by the end of day.
Ney was one of three deputies who were in charge of monitoring David throughout the day.
After Jonathan picked David up in a white Toyota and visited their family home, the brothers went to an apartment complex, which Shannon was found heading toward moments after, said the witness.
A few hours later, Ney saw Shannon going to the backseat of the white Toyota and said that it seemed like he “was looking around for something.”
After a short while, Jonathan and David Froste came out of the apartment and drove away with Shannon in the backseat.
They then headed to the funeral home in Sacramento and proceeded to drive to random places before returning David.
Ney stated that one of the other deputies in charge of tracking saw that the three of them were sharing some drugs during this car ride.
Notably, Ney also mentioned that he knew the Froste brothers since they were young teens and had been to their house on numerous occasions due to his 20+ years of work with the county. However, he did not know Shannon prior to this case.
Attorney Spangler then cross-examined Ney, asking him the reason why he knew the Froste brothers.
Ney said that David had been on probation for most of his juvenile life and his father would usually call the department for help managing his child.
DDA Wilson then called Campos’s younger brother, who was also a friend of Shannon, to the stand.
The brother met Shannon through Campos when he was about 16 years old and said he viewed Shannon as “somewhat of a friend,” he said.
He had also told Detective Jameson—who had approached him one day at school—that he had grown to hate Campos over the years due to the latter’s behavior toward him and their mother.
Around 2018, the brother said he was not living with Campos and his mother anymore because he left to go live with a friend.
However, DDA Wilson pointed out that he had told the detective that he went to live with his father and not a friend. The brother then stated that he was moving around between the two places.
He was then asked if he knew about Elijah and Enrique through the news or other mediums, and he replied that he did not.
When DDA Wilson further questioned if he recalled telling the detective that Campos and Shannon had gotten into a physical fight, the witness answered in the negative.
But the brother did recall telling the detective that he heard from Campos that a fight had started because Shannon said he could beat Campos up.
DDA Wilson proceeded to ask the brother about specific events during the time of the crime regarding Campos, that he had told Detective Jameson, but the witness repeatedly said he does not remember.
When DDA Wilson asked if the brother remembered sitting down with him and Detective Jameson to go over the police report just a few months earlier, where he remembered all of the details, the brother claimed that he had a bad memory and also got into a car accident last year.
At DDA Wilson’s prompting, the brother also admitted that he “[does] not want to be here” in court and will not show up if recalled later.
This led to DDA Wilson questioning the brother if he had lied to Detective Jameson, which the brother denied.
During cross-examination, attorney Nelson asked if the brother remembered Campos coming up to him upset and crying in the early morning back in 2016 and the brother said yes.
The brother said that he believed Campos was under the influence back then and had confided in him that he and Shannon had witnessed someone getting shot.
Attorney Nelson asked the brother if this sort of confiding had ever happened before and the brother said no.
When DDA Wilson asked if he can assume that the brother does not want to see Campos convicted, the brother said he “doesn’t want nothing to do with this.”
The brother was evidently shaken up and continued to mumble seemingly incoherent answers to the rest of DDA Wilson’s questions.
The court took a short break and Deputy Sheriff Thomas Hayes from the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department was called to the stand.
Deputy Hayes had searched for three days in December 2016 for potential crime scene areas such as rivers and beaches where a body could be dumped. DDA Wilson asked numerous logistical questions on what areas Hayes had searched.
The last witness to be called to the stand was Deputy Sam Machado, a lieutenant with the sheriff’s department.
In March 2018, Deputy Machado was the supervisor of the Maritime Unit and a Search and Rescue team.
Back then, Machado had been contacted by Detective Hollenbeck who had asked him to coordinate with another office to attempt to obtain human remains detection dogs to search for potential burial sites.
A month later, his team got two dogs but they had to delay the search operation to later in the year due to vegetation around the chosen search site having grown too much.
However, the plan was altered when Machado met with Shannon to try to identify potential burial sites after the latter had been arrested as a suspect in June.
Shannon recalled an area where he and the Froste brothers went to that had a river on one side and fields on the other. Machado then confirmed the location of the area, marked it as another potential search site, and brought the dogs over.
When Attorney Spangler asked Machado if anything was ever located in the site that Shannon pointed out, Machado said no.