A 35-year-old Covington man received a sentence of 56 years for killing two homeless people in 2016 in Kent.
King County Superior Court Judge Matthew Williams sentenced Bradley T. Shaw on Sept. 24, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A jury convicted Shaw on Aug. 5 of two counts of first-degree murder for the shootings, nearly five years after the killings and four years after his arrest.
Prosecutors recommended a maximum sentence of 63 years. Both the judge’s sentence and the recommendation by prosecutors included five-year firearm enhancements.
“In committing these murders, the defendant selected as his victims some of society’s most vulnerable citizens, two homeless individuals who had no gates to keep intruders out, no doors to lock and little protection against an armed and trained marksman fixated on killing them,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “Moreover, after killing Campos and fleeing, Shaw returned to the scene to eliminate witnesses, executing Dias. These factors strongly support a high-end sentence in this case.”
According to court documents, evidence at the trial established that after drinking alcohol, Shaw shot Campos multiple times, including in the back of the skull, in front of a group of horrified witnesses. He walked away nonchalantly, drove up to Bellingham, and split a 12-pack of beer with a friend without telling him what he had done.
Shaw then drove back to the scene in the early morning hours to “look for witnesses.” That’s when he killed Dias in a similar manner to his execution of Campos, down to the bullet in the back of his skull.
About a year later, according to court documents, Shaw confessed to the murders to a friend, only after Shaw had concerns that DNA would tie him to the crimes.
Kent Police arrested Shaw on Aug. 12, 2017 one year after the killings. A previously unknown witness called Kent Police earlier in the day to report he had received a phone call from Shaw, who told him he had committed the killings, according to court documents. Shaw knew details about the crime scene that had not been released to the public.
Shaw described details of the shootings during a phone call he made to a former military buddy. He said he had been in a gas station and cut in line. He said he was drunk and some of the people present objected to him cutting in line. One individual confronted Shaw. Afterwards, Shaw followed that person (reportedly Campos) to where she lived.
The next night Shaw went to the homeless camp where Campos and Shaw had a dispute. Campos got up in his face. Shaw then shot Campos three times in the head and body.
Shaw told his friend he went back the next night to the camp looking for witnesses, and saw a guy squatting there, holding a baseball bat. Shaw said he shot the man. Dias was shot in the head and the hand.
Campos and Dias were each shot with the same weapon, a .45-caliber handgun. It’s that gun that apparently caused Shaw to call his military friend. Shaw said that weapon he used in the shootings had been taken from him by Kent Police when he was arrested for DUI on Jan. 30, 2017. He had a court hearing on the DUI case coming up on Aug. 17, 2017.
Shaw said he was worried police would use his DNA to link him to the crime scene of the shootings as well as match the bullets from his gun with the bullets recovered from the victims, Campos and Dias.
Shaw pleaded not guilty to the murders in 2017.
Prior to his arrest, Shaw reportedly told one witness that he was contemplating fleeing to Ireland because that country doesn’t allow extradition, and commented to the witness that he was Irish. Investigators examined Shaw’s cellphone records and learned he had conducted internet searches regarding different countries and extradition, including Ireland.
Shaw claimed self-defense at his trial. But the jury, in finding Shaw guilty of first-degree murder, found that his acts were premeditated, and thus not just a reaction or overreaction to any perceived danger influenced by Shaw’s purported post-traumatic stress disorder, according to prosecutors.