Witness Testimony Continues in Drug Theft-Related Murder Trial

By Catherine Potente and Veronica Miller

WOODLAND, CA – Witness testimony continued Wednesday in the jury trial of Chandale Shannon, Jr., and Jesus Campos for allegedly murdering two teens in 2016—Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios—who reportedly stole drugs from them.

The former girlfriend of Jonathan Froste—he and his brother David have already been convicted of killing the teens—was the first witness called to the stand and was questioned by Deputy District Attorney David Wilson.

During the direct examination, the witness stated that she did not know the victims personally, but had heard of them because they all attended the same high school.

The witness was in a relationship with J. Froste for about four years and met Chandale Shannon, Jr., through him. The witness became familiar with Shannon since they regularly met to smoke marijuana together with J. Froste.

The witness considered Campos more of an acquaintance rather than a friend, having only been around him a couple of times to smoke marijuana.

According to the witness, she met J. Froste’s older brother David Froste during her relationship. The two brothers regularly sold marijuana together and stored the marijuana in mason jars.

When referring to D. Froste, the witness stated, “He intimated all of us.”

The witness reported being questioned by detectives regarding a phone call J. Froste received from his brother, David. Jonathan seemed angry after the call. The witness reported she did not fully remember the content of the phone call, but the term robbery did come up.

The second witness was Officer Ruben Gonzales, a deputy probation officer for Yolo County.

During 2016, Officer Gonzalez’s duty was to supervise juveniles in the YCCP, a vocational construction program tailored to juveniles interested in construction or electrical work. The probation officers transported the juveniles from their homes to their school. After school, the juveniles were transported back to their homes.

Both victims participated in the program and Officer Gonzalez reported having positive interactions with them both. The officer stated both victims regularly attended school and they were respectful and upbeat. The victims considered themselves each other’s best friends.

The officer regularly communicated with the victims through text message and was familiar with their families because he was involved with their transportation.

Officer Gonzalez lost contact with one of the victims after Oct. 17, 2016, and was unable to locate him. The victim did not show up during the morning pickup time for school. The officer said this behavior was unusual from someone who regularly attended school and the afternoon program. The victim’s family and friends were also unable to locate him.

The other victim’s demeanor changed following the disappearance of his best friend. Officer Gonzalez could tell something was wrong, but the victim never expressed his thoughts.

“His demeanor kind of changed. He wouldn’t talk, he wouldn’t communicate as well as before,” stated the officer.

The officer witness then lost contact with that victim after Nov. 4, 2016, when he also failed to show up for morning pickup, which was unusual behavior for the victim.

“I sent him a text trying to find out if he needed a ride, if he was ready, and no response,” the officer stated.

Officer Gonzalez made contact with the victim’s family, but received no information regarding his location.

The third witness, a deputy sheriff for Yolo County, was dispatched to one of the victims’ residences. The deputy stated the mother last saw the victim on Oct. 16, 2016.

After retrieving the mother’s statement, the deputy submitted a missing person report for the victim.

The fourth witness, a deputy sheriff for Yolo County, was called to the stand and said he visited one of the victims’ residences in Oct. 2016 in search of one of the missing victims, but was unsuccessful.

The deputy testified he was involved in a cadaver dog search in Knights Landing on June 10, 2018, with dogs specifically trained to locate the scent of deceased individuals.

The day before, Shannon volunteered to show deputies the location of the bodies.

The cadaver dogs picked up scents of a cadaver a few times, but no bodies were actually located from the site.

The fifth witness of the day was a neighbor of one of the victims. He had seen one of the victims get into the car with Shannon and return in the same car. The witness could not offer much insight into the time in which he would have gotten into the car. He estimated between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

This witness had known the victim for about four or five months and thought of him as a good kid. He also stated that his disappearance had made him feel sad and that he wanted to help the family in any way that he could.

He stated that the victim had been walking on the sidewalk and came up to his porch and talked with him. The witness had seen a green Honda pick up the victim, the same green Honda that belonged to Shannon.

When he saw the victim enter and exit the car he did not see him as being scared and his body language seemed to be a friendly interaction.

Defense Attorney David Nelson questioned the witness on the fact that he could not remember his work schedule at that time. They also brought attention more to the fact that he was not sure about the time that he would have seen the victim.

Defense Attorney John Spangler focused his questioning on the fact that he had not shown up to court at his assigned times.

To this the witness had responded that, due to being homeless at this time, he was not able to keep track of the days and had missed his court date. Spangler was worried that this was due to a different reason, to which the witness reassured him it was not.

During the time of his questioning the witness did get mad at the attorneys on both sides because they were asking questions that he felt needed more than just a yes or no answer and were not allowing him to give the full answer.

The next witness that took the stand was Captain Gary Hallenbeck, who interviewed Shannon in the front of his apartment building.

In this interview Shannon had told Hallenbeck that he did not think that the boys had just run off somewhere. He claimed that “they were gone too long” for it to be that they were just hanging out somewhere.

Shannon had also stated that he was not the type of person to do bad things. Claiming that the worst thing he had done was “stay up till one in the morning and smoked too many blunts.”

Shannon had also talked about the robbery that had occurred before the boys went missing. To his knowledge only one of the boys had been there during the robbery.

During this interview, Shannon had stated that he received various calls and messages through Facebook from one of the victims to party or “kick it.” However, he said he never did go to hang out and party with him.

The witness also confirmed that Shannon had stated that both he and D. Froste were upset over being robbed and tried to hit one of the victims with their car. In return, Froste had robbed the victim back using a pair of scissors as a weapon. They had also forced the victim to walk back home in his boxers.

Shannon had also told Hallenbeck that the green car that a witness had seen one of the victims get in was not his, and that he did not have a green car till a month after the boys had gone missing.

Hallenbeck had stated that Shannon claimed that he did not know where the boys were or what had happened to them.

The trial is to proceed with more witnesses on Thursday.

About The Author

Catherine is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Davis, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communications. She plans to graduate in 2022 and is interested in studying law.

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