Jurors watched security footage from around downtown Juneau as prosecutor Katherine Lybrand took them through the sequence of events that led up to a fatal stabbing on the second day of a murder trial.
Juneau Police Department Detective Kathy Underwood, lead detective on the case, also displayed the weapon used in the stabbing for jurors.
Fenton Leon Jacobs, 42, is being tried for his alleged role in the stabbing death of 47-year-old William Scott Campbell during a confrontation in May 2019. Jacobs is charged with felony first-degree murder, two counts of felony second-degree murder, two counts of felony third-degree assault, first-degree harassment and resisting arrest.
“The first thing that I remember was a voice saying that he had a gun- a .45 or a .44 or something,” testified Philip Ray Melendrez, who encountered Jacobs earlier in the evening. “It kind of startled me so I called 911. I saw a man confronting two gentlemen in the Foodland parking lot. He was saying threatening things.”
Melendrez was riding his bike toward the Federal Building bus stop to catch a ride home when he happened upon the scene, he said.
“I can’t recall the exact words but he was threatening me too. I think he said something to the effect of ‘I’ll cut you up into little pieces, old man,’” Melendrez said. “He lunged at me and he actually tried to stab me. I was scared for my life.”
Public defender Nicolas Ambrose, who is representing Jacobs, questioned Melendrez’ recollection of events, playing an audio record from the police report in which Melendrez said “I didn’t actually see the knife, I don’t have that great of eyesight.”
Underwood, who has been with the Juneau Police Department as a civilian, officer and now detective for years, took the stand, taking jurors through the video evidence of cameras from the Walter Soboleff Building, Hearthside Books, the Liquor Cache and the Senate Building on South Franklin Street, showing the jury the events as they unfolded after midnight on May 2, 2019.
In footage with audio, Jacobs can be seen and heard yelling at varying levels of coherency.
Video showed Scott Campbell and his wife Monica Campbell as they got into three altercations with Jacobs, his brother Leroy Jacobs, and Chris Davidson. The final confrontation, up the hill from the former location of Hearthside Books, ended in Campbell’s stabbing and subsequent death. Footage shows Campbell running downhill toward Front Street, pursued by Fenton Jacobs.
Yelling and screaming can be heard in the background of footage with audio continuing after the time of the stabbing. Multiple people can be seen exiting bars to stand on the sidewalk and look toward the commotion.
Fenton Jacobs can be seen afterward walking calmly into the Liquor Cache before a bystander indicates his location to police. Jacobs made his way down Franklin Street toward Ferry Way before being detained by Officer Sean Ahshapanek.
Underwood also showed jurors the knife found on Jacobs’ person, a folding knife with a 4-inch blade that has blood on the blade and the handle, and demonstrated its opening and closing mechanisms.
Jurors were also shown photos of the pants taken from Campbell, including where the pants were cut off of Campbell to provide emergency trauma care.
The trial will continue on Friday morning.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.