Clerk accused of selling alcohol to teen charged in deadly Atascocita crash appears in court

Store was cited for same offense in 2012, investigators say

By Phil Archer - Reporter, Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - A store clerk accused of selling alcohol to a teenage driver who was charged in a crash that killed two girls in Atascocita last month appeared in court Tuesday.

Gumaro Campos, 29, was arrested Sunday night at the Humble Handi Stop and charged with selling alcohol to a minor. He posted $1,000 bail and was released from jail Monday.

He told KPRC2 that he didn't sell alcohol to the teen and that he always checks identification.

In court, prosecutors said Campos was the clerk who sold four bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 to 17-year-old Jagger Smith at 10:45 p.m., which was an hour before a crash on Timber Forest Drive that killed Chloe Robison and Salma Gomez on July 24.

Smith admitted drinking a bottle of the liquor by himself, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said witnesses told them when Campos', nicknamed "Romeo," car was in the parking lot, they could buy alcohol illegally.

“They know this is the location they can go. They know that when Romeo’s car is in the parking lot they can go in and buy alcohol without producing an ID,” said Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare.

During a news conference Monday, investigators with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said the Humble Handi Stop was cited in July 2012 for selling alcohol to a minor, but they did not know the identity of the clerk responsible for that offense.

Prosecutors said when they visited the store the day of the crash, the owner told them there was no surveillance video. It's still an open investigation, and the district attorney wants to determine why the store's security cameras weren't working that night.

Prosecutors said if there is surveillance video, they want to see it.

Campos' attorney said in court Tuesday that he believes that the store security video exists and will prove prosecutors wrong.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Teare said. 

Prosecutors said if the store owner lied, he could not get in trouble or be charged since it's not a federal case.

Smith was charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.

If convicted, Campos faces up to a year in jail or a $4,000 fine, investigators said.

The TABC is currently determining if the store owner should face sanctions or fines.

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