“You’re at my house because I stabbed someone.”
The voice on the tape belongs to 14-year-old Dayshara Paschal-Campos. She’s being interviewed by a detective. “Who’d you stab?” he asks. “I don’t know.”
The attack in October 2017 was quick and violent. The frantic end caught on security camera. A bloodied high schooler escaped as her attacker, wearing a homemade mask, chased after.
Yellow evidence markers trace the horror at Clark High School.
The victim was rushed to the hospital. Paschal-Campos was arrested at her home.
The detective would recount his conversation from the witness stand. “As I remember, she said she was stabbing like this", Matthew Caldwell said while making a chopping motion with his hand. “I don’t think she was aiming, just stabbing at pretty much anything.”
Campos’ mother talked to us outside the courtroom about the day of the attack. Dayshara had called her from school. “She knows how distraught I get as well.” Kimberly Campos told us. “She hung up the phone on me. Two hours went by, something told me to call her.” She knew something was wrong.
In that two hours, her daughter hid inside the dark bathroom and waited. Hours to think and to plan. The attack itself lasted just seconds.
The crime was so serious, so violent, that the teen was charged as an adult. It didn’t take long for a jury to find her guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.
We wanted to know what happened to a now 15-year-old after she was found guilty. Where would Dayshara go? When we started asking that question we were shocked to find out no one with her case knew the answer.
“I think your stories have really been instrumental in educating both myself and the other people in this case", her attorney Anna Clark told us. “I cited you and your reports when I talked to the judge today.”
We discovered the crisis that Nevada prisons have during a Vegas Lost investigation in May. We found then that kids who were sentenced to prison as adults had nowhere to go.
Legally they couldn’t be housed with adults for their own safety and Nevada won't house them with other kids. Things were so bad that when the state had to find a place for a 16-year-old named Ashley Arseno. The Director of Prisons floated the idea of keeping Ashley by herself in a trailer.
Arseno was eventually sent out of state, she’s being housed in Arizona until he turns 18. Dayshara’s mom told us if that happened to her daughter she wouldn’t be able to visit.
“How far is this? How long of a drive? When can I speak to her?” Campos mused.
So would that happen to her kid? We thought so. Then, 5 months after that guilty verdict it was time for Dayshara Paschal Campos to be sentenced. A few days before that our phone rang. It was Dayshara’s attorney. She had questions about that report we ran. After we talked to her she filed a motion with the judge.
“I want you to know I had some discussions with your counsel in chambers,” Judge William Kephart told the young Dayshara. “What I’m going to do today is hold this over for thirty days.”
With Dayshara in handcuffs, her mom watching, and her victim in the hallway waiting to see what justice would look like; the judge stopped it all. Ordered both sides to find an alternative to prison that would keep her in Nevada.
“I think when you have a case like this it can be the catalyst for meaningful change. I hope it benefits not only my client but people who come after", Clark told us after the Judge made his ruling.
Dayshara goes back to juvenile detention. The young girl she attacked held hostage by a broken system. Campos’ mom left to wonder what’s next.