Leader Blues

Monday, March 12, 2007

TOP STORY >>DNA results aired at trial

IN SHORT: Defense challenges drug evidence on Jay Campbell found on a straw and fights off testimony that inmates were intimate with his wife.

Leader staff writer

The defense Friday moved to suppress part of a lab report that found the DNA of Jay Campbell or a close blood relative on a straw that had methamphetamine residue on it.

Special Judge John Cole had already dismissed the Cabot jury for the day in the corruption, drug, theft and continuing-criminal-enterprise trial of the former Lonoke police chief, his wife Kelly Campbell and bail bondsman Bobby Junior Cox when attorney Patrick Benca asked the judge to suppress that finding.

Benca is Jay Campbell’s lawyer.

The report said that Kelly Campbell’s DNA was the primary sample on the straw and that there was a 99.9 percent chance the second DNA was Jay Campbell’s—unless it belonged to one of his young daughters.

Benca said Campbell or his daughters could have used the straw to drink a beverage.

Cole did not rule on the suppression motion, but ordered Lonoke Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain to have the lab results, the report and any remaining DNA samples available for inspection by the defense.

Benca said he would like another lab to test the subordinate DNA, alleged to be Jay Campbell’s.
McCastlain said there might be no DNA left on the straw.

Benca questioned the straw’s chain of custody. Benca argued that Jay Campbell is not charged with using methamphetamine and that introduction of the DNA evidence suggesting he used the drug would prejudice the jury.

He is charged with conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine with Cox and bail bondsman Larry Norwood, but no one has yet testified that they saw Jay Campbell use drugs.

Anthony Shane Scott, one of two prisoners who say they had sex with Kelly Campbell while they were state Act 309 inmates in Lonoke, is alleged to have asked her to get incriminating evidence—such as the straw—so he would have leverage over Jay Campbell should the chief try to harm him in some way.

Kelly Campbell’s lawyer is expected to question why she would have provided Scott with evidence that implicated her.
The head dispatcher, Lisa Marty, testified Friday morning about various financial records, incidents at the jail and as custodian of the records, verified recordings of telephone calls to the jail from the Campbells.

Marty also testified that when she redirected security cameras at the Lonoke jail to better keep an eye on Scott, Jay Campbell became “very angry.”

She testified to seeing Kelly Campbell straddling Scott while she treated an arm he injured.

Testimony ended at about 10:30 a.m. to allow time for the DNA hearing before a planned noon adjournment for the day.

In testimony Thursday, a Correction Department inmate who served for a few months as an Act 309 trustee in the Lonoke City Jail testified about an affair he had with Kelly Campbell. (Act 309 inmates were assigned to the jail to relieve overcrowding in state prisons.)

That inmate, Tim Ainsworth, testified that he had intercourse with her five times, sometimes twice a day. He said they had sex in her husband’s office, in the alley behind the jail, in the Panda House restaurant parking lot, in a recreational vehicle parked at the jail and in her bedroom during a cookout at the Campbell home.

Ainsworth’s testimony was slated for Wednesday, but Kelly Campbell reportedly was sick and court was cancelled that day.
She wore a scarlet jacket Thursday when he did testify and she rushed up the aisle and briefly out of the courtroom once in tears.

Ainsworth testified that had himself transferred back to prison because he feared the affair and the drama surrounding it would bring down not only himself and Kelly Campbell, but also the entire Act 309 program at the Lonoke jail, affecting the lives of about five trustees.

Ainsworth testified that Jay Campbell had challenged both him and Kelly Campbell about the nature of their relationship. Both told him they were just friends, but Ainsworth said he decided it was time to go back to prison.

On cross-examination, Kelly Campbell’s lawyer, Mark Hamp-ton, asked him, “Did Kelly ever ask you to lie?”
“No,” he said.

Did she force him or threaten him to have sex with her?

“No,” said Ainsworth.

He identified a stack of letters he and Kelly Campbell exchanged after he returned to prison.

Ainsworth also identified about a dozen photographs of Kelly Campbell as pictures that she sent him after he returned to prison.

ADC inmate Andrew Baker identified about 10 pictures of Kelly Campbell and another inmate, Anthony Shane Scott, embracing, standing together or with her sitting on his lap.

Baker said he took the photos with Kelly Campbell’s camera at her request.

Scott is the other inmate Kelly Campbell is accused of having intercourse with. He has not yet testified.

Kelly Campbell averted her gaze when Baker and Ainsworth testified and looked down while the photos of her with Scott were displayed on an overhead projector. Jay Campbell looked at the pictures.

As he has throughout, Benca, Kelly Campbell’s attorney, elicited testimony from Baker, Ainsworth and others that they felt they were treated like human beings by Jay Campbell and that they never saw him use or sell any drugs or do anything they knew to be illegal.

Other testimony placed Kelly Campbell at the city baseball field pretty regularly when Scott was working there as an Act 309 trustee.

Trustees testified that the Campbells took them four-wheeling, fishing or swimming on occasion.

They also testified that they had worked for Jay Campbell and Mayor Thomas Privett at their homes or on their private property, and that they were paid for their labor, at least sometimes.

Lonoke Parks Director Roy Lewis and his assistant, Richard Johnson, testified that Scott—Kelly Campbell’s other alleged inmate lover—had been a good worker until he became involved with her. She visited him at the ball field frequently and he talked to her from the ballpark phone for long periods of time.

Tried Bluff
Correction officer Arkemia Johnson testified that when Scott was sent back to prison from the Lonoke Act 309 program, Kelly Campbell drove down to the diagnostic unit’s main gate the same day, identified herself as Chief Campbell’s wife and tried to bluff her way into the prison to see Scott.

“She was crying and emotional,” testified Johnson. Her lieutenant told Johnson to send Campbell away, but Johnson said, “She wouldn’t go.”

She said Scott was sent back by the Lonoke police captain but that her husband, the chief, hadn’t authorized it.

She left and returned later, saying Scott was there because of a mistake Capt. Sean O’Nale made and that also Scott had a dying relative and she was there to help him through his crisis.

The trial resumes Monday, but will not meet Thursday and Friday, when John Wesley Hall, Cox’s lawyer, has to be out of state, Cole ruled.