By Catherine Potente and Fiona Davis
WOODLAND, CA – Witness testimony resumed here in Yolo County Superior Court Monday in the trial of Chandale Shannon, Jr., and Jesus Campos—their friends were called to testify for the prosecution.
Shannon and Campos are charged in connection with the murder and kidnapping of two teens, Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios, who first went missing in late 2016. The two accused allegedly committed these crimes alongside Jonathan and David Froste, two brothers who were also charged with identical counts of murder and kidnapping.
In 2018, Jonathan Froste pleaded no contest to murder, and his brother David was found guilty of the murder and kidnapping of both victims.
Shannon and Campos have pleaded not guilty.
On Monday, the first witness called to the stand was a female friend of Shannon and Campos. Shannon was friends with the witness’s younger sisters and visited her frequently. The witness was closer to Shannon than to Campos, but was not especially close to either accused.
The witness said she lost contact with both accused, but did speak to Campos in February 2016 after the news of the two missing teens was all over Facebook.
Around this time, while the witness said she was driving in Woodland, she saw Campos walking and decided to pull over to talk to him because he looked emotional. Campos then told the witness that if he told her what was going on, the witness could not tell anyone.
Campos then told her, she said, “I killed somebody,” saying that he, Shannon, and Jonathan Froste killed two people and they both were buried.
The witness left immediately—because she did not want to get involved—and did not tell anyone what Campos had told her.
After the first witness was dismissed, one of Elijah Moore’s best friends was called to testify.
The witness stated he saw Moore almost every day and they hung out frequently. Smoking marijuana was one activity they did together on a regular basis, he said.
The witness knew of Shannon because he was the source of the victim’s marijuana and Shannon occasionally met to smoke marijuana with the victim.
In fall of 2016, Moore told the court witness that he robbed Shannon and mentioned that he used a pellet gun during the robbery.
The witness later learned that the pellet gun used was actually his, which the victim took without his knowledge. After the supposed robbery occurred, the victim allegedly contacted someone to get a real gun, but the witness did not know if he did in fact end up retrieving a real one.
Moore then went missing a couple weeks after this conversation with the witness occurred.
The witness texted Moore on Nov. 6, 2016, telling him that his mother was looking for him and he needed to get home.
During this time, the witness believed he was communicating with the victim, but after the victim continued to stay missing, and the witness recalled the messages he received from Moore’s phone seemed out of character.
“Just the terminology just didn’t line up with how we would communicate to each other,” the witness stated.
The witness reported seeing Shannon outside of a gas station after Moore was reportedly missing. Shannon seemed nervous, said the witness, and did not seem to be his usual, calm self during their interaction.
The witness noted, “He didn’t seem like he was well-composed.”
The witness was also contacted by Enrique Rios on Oct. 18, 2016, over social media asking about cocaine. The conversation was reportedly unusual coming from the victim, as he did not normally talk about cocaine.
The third witness went to school with the victims and knew both accused, as well as Campos, Shannon, and the Froste brothers, but was closest to Campos because they regularly met up and occasionally smoked marijuana.
Prior to Moore’s going missing, the witness contacted him. While outside of a friend’s house, the witness stated that Moore was walking down the street and saw him, later showing him what appeared to be a real gun.
After Moore disappeared, the witness said Campos called him over to his house to talk.
The witness stated that he did not initially know why Campos asked him to meet with him, but that Campos told him he could not tell anyone about what occurred, threatening to beat the witness up.
The witness reported that Campos seemed frantic during the conversation, as he told the witness that following the robbery, the four defendants saw Moore walking down the street near a laundromat.
David Froste then allegedly pulled a gun on Moore and forced him into the trunk of their car. According to the witness, the victim was taken to ‘The Cuts,’ a location outside of Woodland. The witness could not describe the area and did not know where the area was.
“They ended up cutting him and burning him and all that, and hitting him,” stated the witness.
The witness recalled from his conversation with Campos that he said he hit the victim on the head with a big stick and stomped on his face, as did David Froste.
The witness would later tell police that the victim’s death “was not quick and painless” and that “they had made Elijah suffer … stripped him, [and] took all his stuff.”
Campos told the witness that he, the Froste brothers and Shannon were out in “The Cuts” for five hours getting rid of evidence with shovels and supplies provided by David Froste.
As late as Jan. 2021 searches for the remains of both Elijah Moore and Enrique Rios have been conducted, but neither victim has ever been found.
While the witness did not speak to Campos after hearing what occurred to the victim, Campos texted him, attempting to make sure the witness did not “snitch” on him or the other three people involved.
In the text messages, Campos invited the witness to come to a laundromat, saying that David Froste had heard that the witness was cooperating with detectives searching for the two victims, though the witness had not yet spoken to law enforcement.
The witness understood the laundromat to be the same location where Moore had been abducted. Perceiving these messages as a threat, the witness became concerned for his safety and never went to the location, fearing that he would be harmed or killed.
When asked who he thought was going to kill him, the witness responded, “Jesus and David … all of [the accused] in general.”
Following these threats, the witness then turned to the police, reporting what Campos had told him.
The prosecution then called two officers involved in the investigation of Moore and Rios’ disappearances, Sergeant Richard Towle and Detective Sergeant Darren Imus.
Sergeant Towle interviewed this last and third witness several times over the course of his investigation. The sergeant’s description of his interview with the witness appeared consistent with the witness’ testimony.
In his testimony, Detective Sergeant Inus stated that Campos allegedly had confessed to the murder of Moore to at least two other individuals, with one individual reportedly telling him that “Jesus had said they were robbed of marijuana and that he had killed him.”