TOP STORY >>Witness: Campbells took drugs
Leader staff writer
A former Pulaski County deputy testified Tuesday that he gave former Lonoke Police Chief Jay Campbell and his wife Kelly Campbell some of his prescription painkillers several times and later he and his son sold them Ecstasy a few times.
Defense attorneys for the Campbells said William Boyer, a former Sherwood resident, would have told prosecutors anything to help expunge his son’s record.
Prosecutor Lona McCastlain has charged the Campbells with about 72 counts, mostly drug-or-theft-related, including operating a continuing criminal enterprise. Co-defendant Bobby Junior Cox, a bail bondsman, faces four counts. Jay Campbell, Cox and bail bondsman Larry Norwood also are charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Kelly Campbell is charged also with having sex with two of her husband’s inmates and with supplying them with alcohol, drugs and a cell phone.
In a hearing during a jury recess, defense attorney Patrick Benca said that although both Boyer and his son Jeff had been convicted on drug charges, Boyer never implicated the Campbells until sometime in 2005, almost exactly when Jeff Boyer sought to have his record sealed. McCastlain said that when her office was contacted to support Jeff Boyer’s petition, she replied that it would be improper for her to take any position on expunging the record with the Campbell trial pending.
“As far as (Jeff Boyer’s) credibility, I have to let at least that much in,” ruled Special Judge John Cole.
“You may inquire for purposes of impeachment,” he told Benca.
Jeff Boyer has yet to testify. Bill Terry, head of the state Act 309 inmate work program, said the entire investigation that grew into the current trial grew out of a taped telephone conversation between Kelly Campbell and one of the two Act 309 inmates she is alleged to have had sex with many times.
“(Act 309 inmate Shane) Scott told me everything,” said Terry, including allegations of inmates doing personal work for Mayor Thomas Privett, the Campbells and others, of inmates going fishing or swimming at the community center with the chief and his family, and also the alleged sexual encounters.
Shortly thereafter, Terry terminated Lonoke’s Act 309 program. Prosecutors called witnesses to explain the Act 309 inmate program and its limitations, and through testimony of those inmates and two former Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers, began laying groundwork for charges that Kelly Campbell had sex with two of the inmates and provided them with contraband.
Former Dispatcher Cortney Cocourek said Kelly Campbell came by the jail two or three times a week, often to visit with the Act 309 inmates, particularly with Scott. She said she would more frequently come in through a back way that didn’t involve coming by the dispatcher or signing the log.
SEX WAS LEGAL
Her attorney, Mark Hampton, argued that although prisoners weren’t allowed to have sex other than on authorized furloughs, and it would be a crime for employees and officers to have sex with inmates, Kelly Campbell, neither an employee nor an officer, would have committed no crime by having sex with an inmate under current law.
The official charge is supplying contraband, with the assumption that she herself was that contraband, Hampton said.
Kelly Campbell “asked me once if I knew anything going on between her and the inmates, and said she was counseling them, particularly Shane Scott,” Cocourek testified.
Mallory Cole, a department dispatcher, also said Campbell came to visit Scott and sometimes picked him up at lunchtime and occasionally after work, although only a police department or city employee could properly take him from the jail. Cole said Kelly Campbell told her that “she and Scott were good friends and she loved him.”
Under cross-examination, neither Cole nor Cocourek nor anyone else called so far, said they ever saw Kelly Campbell in any sort of physically improper contact. Terry Crook, an Act 309 inmate who admitted that he and Scott didn’t like each other, said Scott went missing while doing maintenance work at the Lonoke ball field and when they finally found him, he and Kelly Campbell were coming down the stairs from the glassed-in scorers booth.
Crook said Scott, having taken hydrocodone, was afraid he was about to be drug tested and that he tried to intimidate Crook urinating in a bottle for him, because Crook was clean. Crook said Kelly Campbell brought Scott two bottles of golden seal, alleged to flush urine and thus beat urine drug tests. The prosecution also laid groundwork for the charges that the chief improperly used those inmates for work on his property. Act 309 inmates are state prisoners on loan to cities and counties to do work on city or county property.
To combat testimony that Campbell took $265 to have five lots bush-hogged for a private citizen, then had five inmates do the work, Benca asked a former Lonoke Act 309 inmate if Campbell paid them for the work. The inmate, Crook, said each was paid $50.
Benca asked if the city had halved the allowance it paid the 309s and when Crook said yes, he asked if Campbell was trying to offset the loss of that income by finding them a little paid work. Crook said he guessed so. Monday, more prosecution witnesses testified that they had prescription medications missing after visits by the Campbells.
Ray Lackey and Rick Pennington were among the Lonoke pharmacists called to discuss purchases by the Campbells, or instances in which Kelly Campbell had someone else’s prescription filled or attempted to. Kelly Lackey Waller, who cried and trembled during her testimony, said she smoked ice—methamphetamine—with Kelly Campbell. Waller’s husband borrowed $500 from Kelly Campbell for their honeymoon and when she couldn’t pay it all back, Kelly Campbell told her how and what to shoplift at Wal-Mart—merchandise that could then be returned and the money used to repay the Campbells. She was caught and charged with theft of property.
She said Kelly Campbell told her, “I just had the best sex I had in 10 years,” and said it was with an Act 309 inmate. Waller also testified that while she was on her honeymoon and the Campbells had the key to her home, she came back to find electronic equipment worth about $11,000 missing, as well as her prescription medication.
Among other residences the Campbells had opportunity to take prescription drugs from was Mike Brown’s, director of the Lonoke Community Center who found drugs to be missing at one point. Brown said Kelly Campbell took his prescription for gout, brought him back some gout pills and later filled his painkiller prescription, for which he was charged. She never brought him the drugs.
Brown described Jay Campbell as “my best friend.”