Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct an instance where Reginald Campbell was identified by an incorrect name.
A Mount Vernon, New York, man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2017 murder of a Sherman hotel clerk.
Reginald Campbell pleaded guilty to capital murder Friday afternoon in the 15th state District Court. He admitted he shot and killed Brandon Hubert, 32, during the robbery of the Quality Suites in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, 2017.
In exchange for the plea, the state dropped the murder and aggravated robbery charges Campbell faced and agreed not to seek the death penalty in the case.
First Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Kerye Ashmore questioned Campbell as the plea deal went forward and walked him back through the events leading up to Hubert’s death.
Campbell said he came to Texas to work construction through a job website. He said he thought he was going to be sent to Puerto Rico as part of the job, but ended up in Grayson County. He arrived in the county, Ashmore pointed out, just three short weeks before Hubert died.
Campbell said he met up with the two women also charged in Hubert’s death, Karalyn Marie Cross and Nikeya Marquice Grant, shortly after arriving in Grayson County. Cross, Campbell said, was his sexual partner and Grant just hung around with them. He said he paid them to give him rides to the store to get groceries.
The three were hanging out Aug. 10 and went to Oklahoma to drop off a cousin of one of the girls. Then they went to casino in Durant. When they came back to Sherman, he said, they decided to rob some motels.
Campbell said he had a gun that he got from the car of a friend he had dropped off at trucking school. He took that gun with him when he entered the Quality Inn. It was not the first hotel they had considered robbing. They had also stopped at the Super 8 Motel, but the clerk in that hotel was tucked safely away behind glass so they moved on.
When one of the girls went inside the Quality Inn to check its security, the decision was made that they could rob it.
Campbell said he went in and demanded the money but Hubert hesitated.
“Eventually, I went over the counter,” Campbell told Ashmore.
Campbell said he didn’t really remember what happened them.
“You shot him in the head,” Ashmore said.
“Yes,” Campbell answered.
Campbell said he took off, but then turned around and went back for the money. He left Hubert there dying on the floor.
They got back in the car where he told the two women he had shot the clerk in the arm. They returned to the motel and then the girls took him to Dallas, where he caught a bus to Atlanta and his sister’s house. From there he went to South Carolina. Officers eventually caught up with him, but he was able to get away and was eventually captured in New York.
Campbell didn’t show much emotion as he heard from members of Hubert’s family and circle of friends during the victim impact part of the hearing. However, he did break down and appeared to cry as State Court District Judge Jim Fallon asked him if he understood that if he went forward with the plea, Campbell would never get out of jail.
A letter from Hubert’s mother was read by another family member. The mother said her son was a good honest human being who would have helped anyone, even Campbell. She said her heart is broken and shattered because of the loss of her son and she hoped that Campbell would get the death penalty. Hubert, who was a twin, was remembered by his two sisters-in-law as someone who made the family laugh and who was passionate about getting his master’s degree in education.
After the hearing, Ashmore said he hoped that the plea brings some closure for Hubert’s family. He said that the case was not set for trial until October and the case likely would have been delayed then. The plea, he said, allowed the family to see a resolution much earlier than it would have had it gone to trial.
“It’s a very tragic situation,” he said before adding that the law allowing for life without parole as the option to the death penalty helps to move a lot of the critical cases forward more quickly than if they were tried.
“The family was on board with this. They wanted to see it resolved. We still have two co-defendants that we will have to deal with now,” he added.
Though both of Cross and Grant have been charged with capital murder, Ashmore said the state would have to be able to prove that they knew or intended for someone to be killed to seek the death penalty. There was no indication of that in this case and they will not seek the death penalty.
Ashmore said the case against Campbell would not have been possible without a team effort.
“Both Joe Brown when he was the D.A. and Brett Smith have given us resources and the green light to go after the death penalty. I think they had not known that we were serious about the death penalty and I would try them — this would have been my eighth death penalty trial — I don’t know that we would’ve gotten this done,” he said.
The team, he added, didn’t stop with the Grayson County Attorney’s Office.
He said the case would have not have been possible without the efforts of Texas Ranger Brad Oliver and his associates as well as the efforts Sherman Police Department, particularly Brandon Hughes and Riley Day. Ashmore said the ATF Agent Justin Holbert and and the US Attorney’s Office helped authorities trace the gun used in the murder back to Campbell.
Ashmore said Joe Brown allowed Investigator Mike Ditto and Prosecutor Nathan Young to South Carolina to interview Campbell’s family and friends. “We beat the defense to those people. Normally by the time you get to those people there is all of this mitigation that they try to use. And we got a lot of really good records and I think that was key in this,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the work of his legal assistant Sandra Brown was instrumental to the conviction.
“I don’t know that the case is in the position that it is in without her. She listened to every phone call (that Campbell made or received) read every letter and was on top of his discovery, hundreds and hundreds of pages. What she does for me in the practice of law is really amazing.”
A member of Campbell’s family who was in court Friday declined to speak to the Herald Democrat.