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

Store was cited for same offense in 2012, investigators say

By Phil Archer - Reporter, Leigh Frillici - Reporter, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - The store that employs a clerk accused of selling alcohol to a teenage driver charged in a crash that killed two girls in Atascocita last month had previously been cited for the same offense, authorities said Monday.

Gumaro Campos, 29, was arrested Sunday night at the Humble Handi Stop and charged with selling alcohol to a minor. He told KPRC 2 that he didn't sell alcohol to the teen and that he always checks for identification.

He posted $1,000 bail and was released from jail Monday. He said nothing as he was rushed to a waiting taxi in downtown Houston.

Prosecutors said Campos was the clerk who sold four bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 to 17-year-old Jagger Smith an hour before a crash on Timber Forest Drive that killed Chloe Robison and Salma Gomez. Smith admitted drinking a bottle of the liquor by himself, prosecutors said.

"We were able to identify the specific clerk who not only sold in this case to the defendant that night but every single one of these kids we talked to, they knew he was the guy they could go to, over a number of years," said Harris County 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. 

“This was the place where Atascocita High School children and Kingwood High School children obtained alcohol, not just this night, but a lot of nights,” Teare said.

No violations were found during several undercover stings at the store since that citation, investigators said.

It's still an open investigation and the district attorney wants to determine why the store's security cameras weren't working that night.

"They have upwards of 10 cameras. Apparently, none of them record. We are in process of looking further into that but as of right now, we have no surveillance footage of this incident,” Teare said.

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

Smith was charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

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

Editor's note: This story has been edited to clarify that the store where Campos works has been previously cited.

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