Defense attorney blames 'horrible accident' for deadly punch - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Defense attorney blames 'horrible accident' for deadly punch

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James Beach is accused of using one punch to murder a father of five children. (LVMPD) James Beach is accused of using one punch to murder a father of five children. (LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Luis Campos' widow spoke alongside the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Monday morning to thank the media for helping find the man accused of killing her husband.

"I just have a big huge hole in my heart that's never going to go away for this man. I love him so much," Julie Campos said. "Luis could take the worst situation and just make the best out of it, and that's what I needed in my life."

Luis Campos, 45, was in downtown Las Vegas for his brother's bachelor party on April 30 when a man punched him just once in the face. Campos was waiting in line, and police said the suspect was upset that Campos was "looking at him funny." Campos died on May 4 from his injuries.

Police released a video of two men running away. One of those men was identified as 27-year-old James Beach. The other man is a witness who is expected to testify against Beach at trial.

"I don't want to see anything good happen to him," Julie Campos said. "He doesn't deserve that."

Beach was arrested and convicted of attempted murder in 2009. His defense attorney, who also represented him in that case, said the two cases are completely different and unrelated.

"The facts are so completely different," said defense attorney Greg Knapp. "That was almost 10 years ago ... He's been doing well for himself working and staying out of trouble."

Knapp admitted his client threw the punch and feels terrible for what happened, but he's unclear how it could have led to Campos' death. He said Beach had no idea Campos had been badly hurt, much less killed. He wonders if perhaps Campos had a preexisting condition or received improper care in the hospital.

"lt's not like he fell back and hit his head on a curb or something," Knapp said. "There was no intent. There was no malice. There was no premeditation. There wasn't a prior beef. There wasn't anything leading up to this."

Knapp said his client was drinking and partying that night. Still, he said that doesn't make Beach a murderer and that he doesn't blame Campos for what happened.

"It may have been wrong and he might have misread something, but I think something in his mind made him think he was about to be hit or something was about to happen and he reacted," Knapp explained. "This is a horrible accident. My client feels horrible about it. He never intended for anything bad to happen. He thought it was just a small fight ... He's not a bad person and his heart goes out to the victim."

Julie Campos remained just as confused.

"(My husband) was such a strong man. Never would I have thought that this one sucker punch would have snuffed his beautiful light out," she said.

"(Beach) robbed my children of their father ... I explained to (my son), 'Your dada loves you very much. He's always going to, and your dada is in the sky watching you right now.'"

"Fights like this happen day in and day out, and people don't die day in and day out from one punch," Knapp said. "People have a tendency to look for the worst in people and if people can resist that temptation ... I would just ask everyone to hold their judgment."

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