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Ventura County News Roundup

THOUSAND OAKS : 2 Plead Innocent in Boy's Alcohol Death

June 14, 1990|CAROL WATSON

Two Thousand Oaks brothers pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the April death of a 14-year-old boy whom they allegedly goaded into chug-a-lugging whiskey.

David Campbell, 29, and Patrick Campbell, 23, were arraigned in Malibu Municipal Court for the alcohol poisoning death of Leland Scovis, the youngest of a group of five teen-age boys the defendants were chaperoning on a camping trip at Leo Carrillo State Beach.

The Campbells were each charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They remain free on $5,000 bail that each posted when they were arrested in May.

Another chaperon, Priscilla Vernon, 21, of Newbury Park pleaded not guilty to charges of being an accessory to involuntary manslaughter and to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Vernon, who is free on her own recognizance, is the sister of one of the boys and is engaged to David Campbell.

During the April 14 camping trip, the two brothers allegedly bet Leland that he could not drink the two to three inches of alcohol left in a gallon jug of whiskey without getting sick, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Leland drank the whiskey quickly and collapsed about 15 minutes later, said sheriff's Detective Jerome Beck. Two hours later, after Leland had developed breathing problems, one of the Campbell brothers began attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Beck said.

Leland was taken by helicopter to Westlake Medical Center in Westlake Village on the morning of April 15, Beck said. He died two days later.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 20.

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