HOUSTON— Charges have been filed against a convenience store clerk accused of selling alcohol to a teenage boy who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when he caused a crash that killed two of his friends.
Gumaro Munoz Campos, 29, was arrested Sunday night at an Humble Handi Stop and charged for his alleged role in the deaths of Atascocita High School students Chloe Robison and Salma Gomez.
Robison and Gomez were passengers in a car driven by Jagger Clayton Smith, 17. The three teens were driving home from a party shortly after midnight on July 25.
According to investigators, Smith was traveling at least 80 miles per hour, twice the speed limit, on Timber Forest Drive when he lost control of his Nissan Altima and slammed into a tree, splitting the vehicle in half.
The girls — both only 16 years old — sustained fatal injuries.
The investigation determined that Smith bought four bottles of MD 20/20 wine from the store about one hour before the crash. Smith, a Kingwood High School student, allegedly admitted to drinking one bottle by himself.
Smith was charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter.
Campos is being held partly responsible for contributing to the girls' deaths. Campos never verified Smith's age with a proper ID card, according to court documents.
“Selling alcohol to minors is not only illegal, but places lives in danger,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “In this case, it cost two kids their lives and a third faces the prospect of prison.”
“While the vast majority of alcohol retailers are doing the right thing and keeping alcohol out of minors' hands, this case shows what can happen when the law isn't followed,” TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said.
Customers say it's a tragedy all the way around.
"If he was sold alcohol here, it's hard. You don't know who may or may not have a fake ID or anything, so it just is hard to find, you know, who to blame in this situation," Ashley March said. "Three people now, you know, have lost their lives from it because, you know, he-- the driver-- is now gonna....he's lost his life, too."
Campos’ arrest comes as part of District Attorney-led task force that starts its work at the scene of fatal drunk driving accidents and works backward to determine how DWI suspects obtained alcohol.
“The task force will track down any and everyone who helped Jagger Smith get drunk,” said Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare, who is chief of the Vehicular Crimes Division. “Chloe and Salma’s blood is on their hands as well as his.”
Smith faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
Campos, who has since been released on a $1,000 bond, faces up to a year in prison.