Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TOP STORY >>Phone records trace conspiracy

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader staff writer

Deputy Prosecutor Noreen Smith painstakingly led the custodians of records from Alltel, AT&T landlines and Cingular telephone companies through long lists of call records from early September 2004 on Tuesday, in preparation for pressing the case that former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell and two bail bondsmen conspired to manufacture methamphetamine.

Campbell, Bobby Junior Cox and Larry Norwood are the three charged in the conspiracy, although Norwood is being tried separately.

Campbell, his wife Kelly Harrison Campbell and Cox are being tried together in Cabot as the participants in a continuing criminal enterprise.

The former chief is charged as the kingpin. The Campbells are charged with about 70 counts of burglary, theft of property and drug counts and Kelly Campbell is charged with providing Act 309 inmates with contraband including drugs, alcohol and sex.
There was no testimony Tuesday morning after Special Circuit Judge John Cole upheld a motion by Cox’s attorney, John Wesley Hall, that certain witnesses against Cox could not be called until there had been some testimony pertaining to the meth manufacturing conspiracy count with which he is charged.

Known as Act 404B witnesses, the prosecution intended their testimony to point to Cox’s motive or intent to commit the conspiracy before presenting any evidence of the alleged conspiracy. Also Tuesday, Walls McCrary, former owner of McCrary’s clothing store, testified that $500 he had left on his office desk in preparation for deposit disappeared and that to his knowledge, only Kelly Campbell could have taken it.

Monday, Lonoke Police De-tective David Huggs testified that he has signed receipts for about $2,000 supposedly paid to one of Campbell’s informants—a man who said he only received about $300.

Huggs told prosecutors that officers usually signed receipts for the money they paid their own informants, but that Campbell asked him (Huggs) to sign them.

Other police-related thefts with which Campbell is charged include about $15,000 that one drug dealer said was taken from him and disappeared and about $3,500 from another.