YORK, S.C. – Surprising new details emerged Thursday in the case of an illegal immigrant accused of killing a Charlotte gardener in January.
Kevin DeJesus, 22, pleaded guilty, not to murder, but to voluntary manslaughter, saying he shot 65-year-old Jesse Campbell because Campbell tried to force him in to a sexual relationship.
Cambell owned greenhouses and nurseries in Charlotte and employed many young Hispanic men, including DeJesus.
But the lawyers on both sides made a deal to reduce the sentence from murder to involuntary manslaughter, after grim details emerged about that fatal encounter.
"Mr. Campbell unfortunately would prey on young Hispanic men and would force them to do sexual acts in order to pay them and that’s what happened here," said public defender Harry Dest. "Mr. Campbell tried to make my client preform a sexual act, he refused to do that, he then produced a gun, a struggle ensued and he was shot and killed."
Campbell was found dead undressed from the waist down.
Dest says other young Hispanic men Campbell employed later came forward, saying Campbell would withhold their pay to force them in to sexual encounters.
DeJesus is in the US illegally. Dest says he fled from Honduras to escape violent gangs.
"He was trying to avoid a life of horrific violence in Honduras," he said. "It's tragic it ended this way because he really wanted to live in the United States and avoid that type of environment for himself and his family."
The judge sentenced DeJesus to 12 years in prison. After that, DeJesus will be deported and banned from the United States.