Arkansas Police Brutality and
- Arkansas -
A series of arrests involving drugs, sex and the abuse of a state
inmate program shocked the small town of Lonoke on Monday, as the
police chief, his wife, the mayor and two bail bondsmen were taken into
Chief Jay Campbell and the two bail bondsmen, Bobby Cox and Larry
Norwood, were arrested on allegations that include conspiring to
manufacture methamphetamine, while the chief's wife, Kelly Harrison
Campbell, was arrested and faces allegations of residential burglary,
providing state inmates drugs and alcohol and taking two of them
outside the city jail to have sex, authorities said.
addition, Lonoke Mayor Thomas Privett was taken into custody after an
Arkansas State Police investigation regarding Act 309 inmates, who
authorities said performed illegal work in the mayor's home.
shocked. Absolutely. This town has never seen any problems like this,
said Dick Bransford, a City Council member for more than 20 years in
the community of 4, 287.
Campbell, 46, was charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy
to manufacture methamphetamine, hindering apprehension or prosecution,
criminal conspiracy to commit residential burglary, theft by receiving
and theft of services, according to a bench warrant.
to the warrant, Campbell conspired with Little Rock bail bondsman Cox
to have Ronald Adams arrange for another man, Roger Light, to cook a
batch of methamphetamine so they could then arrest Light and force him
to help them catch an unnamed fugitive who had jumped a substantial
bond written by Cox.
told police that when he tried to get Campbell and Cox to help him
clear his own record as a reward for his help setting up Light, Cox
threatened him and Campbell told him he got screwed, then refused to
see him, the warrant states.
61, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, intimidating a
witness or defendant and first-degree terroristic threatening all
believed to have at least been a bail bondsmen at one time, also was
arrested late Monday and charged with conspiracy to manufacture
methamphetamine in connection with the allegations against Campbell and
Cox, authorities said. Norwood's age and residence were not available.
wife, Kelly Campbell, 41, also was charged with conspiracy to commit
residential burglary, theft of property, residential burglary and four
counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
warrant states that Kelly Campbell entered several homes and stole
prescription medications and several thousand dollars worth of antique
jewelry. After she pawned the jewelry, her husband contacted a Little
Rock pawnshop and told the owner that he had to get the jewelry back,
according to the warrant. Most of the jewelry was returned.
Campbell, according to the warrant, also was charged with multiple
felonies and a misdemeanor including furnishing prohibited articles,
tampering and escape in connection with the town's suspended Act 309
state Department of Correction removed five inmates in August after an
investigation found that Chief Campbell had used state prisoners to
repair his boat and install a sidewalk from his house to his pool. The
investigation also determined that the Mayor Privett, 68, had also used
the inmates improperly. He was charged with misdemeanor theft of
services after having inmates work at his home, including repairing his
air conditioner, hanging Christmas lights, gardening and working on his
Act 309 program is designed to relieve prison overcrowding and provide
labor for counties and cities, which use the inmates for tasks such as
jail maintenance and upkeep. The state paid the city $ 15 a day to
house and feed the inmates.
warrant issued Monday states Kelly Campbell gave the Act 309 inmates at
the city jail a cell phone, marijuana and liquor. It also states that
she had sex with two of the inmates multiple times, including at a
local hotel, in violation of the Correction Department program rules.
police officers told investigators that they could not keep the chief s
wife out of the jail and that when they tried, she became irate, and
when a jail supervisor instructed officers to keep a log of her visits
to the jail, her husband became irate, according to the warrant.
County Prosecuting Attorney Lona McCastlain declined to comment on the
details of the charges, except to say the investigation had been going
on for about six months. She said she did not expect it to end with the
I don t think the investigation is concluded.... I
m not ruling out additional charges, she said.
declined to answer any other questions until a news conference
scheduled for noon today at her office in the Lonoke County Courthouse.
Lonoke Police Chief Sean O Nale said his department s 22 officers,
jailers and dispatchers have guarded feelings about their chief s
arrest. Campbell is suspended with pay pending the outcome of legal
action, he said.
Right now, we re still in the dark about the
specifics, he said.
the suspects but Privett posted $ 50, 000 bail at the Lonoke County
jail and were released, said Sheriff Jim Roberson. Roberson said
Privett posted a $ 500 bond before his release.
said everyone surrendered peacefully. It was difficult. Especially when
it was someone who had been on the same team, Roberson said, referring
to Chief Campbell.
was fired in 2000 from his job as a lieutenant with the Pulaski County
sheriff s office after Sheriff Randy Johnson stated that Campbell had
tried to intimidate lower-ranking deputies into charging more for
off-duty jobs. Johnson also said Campbell authorized off-duty
employment at a nightclub, which office policy forbids. Campbell lost a
federal lawsuit seeking reinstatement and monetary damages in 2001.
Campbell became chief of police in 2002.
of the accused could be reached for comment. Little Rock attorney Mark
Hampton, who represents at least some of the accused, didn t return a
phone call seeking comment.
said that the town had known about some of the Act 309 violations, but
had no idea about the methamphetamine, theft, sex and drug allegations.
He said that Privett had not called a special City Council meeting as
of late Monday. The council is scheduled to meet Feb. 13.
09/30/2005 - CONWAY
- A constable-elect was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for
an assault on a woman but a jury acquitted him of a rape charge.
Dickens, 22, of Greenbrier was convicted Wednesday on the felony
charges and a misdemeanor charge of third-degree domestic battery.
Judge David Reynolds sentenced him early Thursday to five years in
prison after rejecting a jury recommendation that Dickens be given
Dickens was elected in November to the constable
position in the East Fork Township, which takes in the rural Springhill
area, between Conway and Greenbrier.
sentencing, state Sen. Gilbert Baker, R-Conway, and others asked the
judge to show leniency. Baker said he knew Dickens from work Dickens
had done in Baker's political campaign and other activities.
the trial, Deputy Prosecutor Stephan Hawks alleged Dickens took the
woman to a service station Dec. 8 and as they were returning home, he
placed a knife to her throat and said she was no good for him.
25-year-old woman testified that Dickens slapped and kicked her, burned
her repeatedly with a cigarette lighter, threatened her with a knife
and told her, ''I might as well kill you and dump you in the ditch out
Dickens' attorney Frank Shaw said Dickens and the woman had
argued because Dickens thought she was seeing someone else.
Dickens' home, the woman tried to call 911 on a cell phone, but Dickens
interrupted the call and took her back inside the house and began
kicking her. The prosecutor said she was able to escape the next
morning and contact police.
09/14/2005 - Sheriff Phil Mask and his chief deputy, Bill
suing former sheriff's Capt. Jim Andrews for slander, alleging that
Andrews made defamatory remarks about them during and just after last
year's sexual assault trial of former Shannon Hills Police Chief John
In a lawsuit filed late Tuesday afternoon in Saline
County Circuit Court, Mask and Field contend that Andrews' statements
"have been the direct and proximate cause of mental and emotional
anguish suffered by the plaintiffs."
and Field charge that Andrews allegedly made statements accusing Mask
and Field of conspiring to influence the outcome of Brown's trial.
fired Andrews early this year "because he was not going in a direction
best suited" for the sheriff's department. Andrews was a nine-year
Brown was convicted Sept. 2, 2004, of
sexually assaulting his 15-year-old niece. He was sentenced to 25 years
in prison. Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips also ordered Brown to
register as a sex offender.
Brown has appealed the conviction and is out of jail on bond,
awaiting the result of his appeal.
testified during Brown's trial that he did not believe Brown's accuser
to be credible. Field and Andrews did not testify in the trial.
suit claims that immediately following the trial, Andrews allegedly
told members of the sheriff's department that Mask testified as part of
an agreement with Brown to help ensure Brown's acquittal.
suit also states that Andrews allegedly said that Mask would receive
assistance from Brown in taking legal action against Saline County
Prosecutor Robert Herzfeld.
Accorinding to the suit, Andrews
said immediately following the trial that Field communicated improperly
with Brown to influence Brown's trial. The suit further alleges that
Field helped compensate Brown's attorney for his services.
Smith said Wednesday that Andrews "made statements that did a
lot to undermine the credibility" of Mask and Field.
suit charges that Brown said Mask and Field "acted in concert ... to
serve their own personal interests by seeking to change or at least
influence the outcome of a criminal trial by illegal means."
lawsuit is as much about clearing the air as anything," Smith said. "We
want to make it clear to people in the Sheriff's Department and the
county that (Mask) is an honest man, that he serves as sheriff and that
he doesn't engage in conspiracies to influence the outcome of a
Mask declined to comment, referring questions to Smith.
Andrews was unavailable for comment by press time.
last year called Mask's testimony in Brown's trial "bizarre" and
remarked that he thinks "Sheriff Phil Mask has lost his mind."
also said last year that Mask "for some unknown reason had a doubt that
Brown was guilty, although the sheriff did not participate in the
investigation, was not present for the victim interview and it was his
own office that conducted the investigation and arrested the defendant.
That's the most bizarre thing I've heard since I became prosecuting
Herzfeld charged that his deputy prosectuor, Rebecca
Bush, called Mask several times but that Mask never returned her calls.
But "I've been told that John Brown met (Mask) several times in the
sheriff's office," Herzfeld said.
Smith said he has "no idea"
what type of monetary compensation may be sought by or awarded to Mask
and Field if their suit is successful. "I'm not sure Mr. Andrews has a
lot of money to pay a big judgment if there is one," Smith said.
08/23/2005 - Arkansas - A police officer here was arrested Friday for
allegedly demanding cash payments for traffic violations rather than
issuing written tickets.
Timothy Payne is charged with theft of property, a class A misdemeanor;
criminal attempt to commit theft of property, a class B misdemeanor;
and abuse of office, a class B misdemeanor.
to court documents, Sergio Herrera, a resident of Springdale, was
pulled over on Arkansas Highway 112 by Payne on the morning of July 30.
Payne — in uniform and driving a marked police car
— asked Herrera for
his driver’s license and registration papers. Herrera replied
asked Herrera to pay $200 in cash for a fine for driving without a
driver’s license. Herrera paid the $200, and Payne walked
back to his
police car and left.
days later, Payne stopped Herrera again on the same road and demanded
another $200 for failure to stop at a stop sign. Herrera told Payne he
did not have $200 and instead gave him $100.
Aug. 1, Eddie Ricardo Herrera, a cousin to Sergio Herrera, was stopped
by Payne on Highway 112. When Eddie Herrera said he did not have a
driver’s license, Payne asked him to pay a $100 fine.
Eddie Herrera responded that he did not have $100, Payne told him to
call someone to bring the money. Eddie Herrera called his uncle, Javier
Herrera, who arrived with $100.
at the scene of the traffic stop, Javier Herrera wrote down the license
plate number and police car number of Payne’s car. Javier
insisted Payne write a receipt for the cash payment, which Payne did.
In none of the three reported incidences did Payne
issue traffic tickets.
Javier Herrera, his wife Patricia Herrera and Sergio Herrera went to
the Elm Springs Police Department to investigate the legality of police
officers collecting roadside bonds.
issue was investigated by Sgt. Steven A. Coppinger, Company D North
Area Supervisor of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Arkansas
State Police. Payne denied the allegations until after his arrest, at
which time he admitted to taking the cash and writing the receipt.
a press release Friday, Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Robin Green
commended the victims of Payne’s extortion for having the
come forward. "I encourage anyone else who may have information
regarding other acts of coercion by former Officer Payne to contact
this office," Green said. "The actions of this one officer are isolated
and should not reflect upon the honorable men and women of law
enforcement who protect and serve Benton County."
Circuit Judge David Clinger issued the order for
Payne’s arrest and set his bond at $1,000.
- A mistrial was declared in the case of a former Pine Bluff police
officer charged with sexually-related offenses involving a teenage girl
County Circuit Judge Berlin Jones declared a mistrial in the case of
police officer Robert Bergstrom, who had been accused of first-degree
sexual assault and second-degree sexual assault involving a girl, who
was then 15.
"This is still an important case to us and we will
go forward and prepare to try it again," Prosecutor Steve Dalrymple
The mistrial was called about midnight Thursday, after jury
deliberations, which began at approximately 9:45 p.m.
were a couple of situations that came to the attention of the court and
caused the judge to rule as he did," Dalrymple said.
said one of the original jurors chosen to hear the case was dismissed
and replaced with an alternate after the court learned that juror was a
resident of Pulaski County rather than Jefferson County, as required by
"The jury asked for the opportunity to review additional
evidence as is often the case," Dalrymple said of the other problem.
"The problem was the defense had prepared a board showing what their
interpretation of the law was, and that board was not admitted as
evidence. The jury inadvertently got it and took it back to the jury
room and the court had to declare a mistrial."
Bergstrom was a
police officer for six years before being arrested and fired in August
2003. He admitted to having intercourse with the girl, but said the
girl started the activity.
He was accused of engaging in
intercourse and in acts of sexual contact with a person under the age
of 18, who was not his spouse, while serving in a position of trust and
authority as a police officer.
Defense attorney Mark Hampton of
Little Rock conceded that Bergstrom engaged in sexual intercourse with
the girl and that he was a police officer at the time of the alleged
incident, but denied the other elements of the charge.
not concede that at the time of the offense he was in a position of
trust and authority because at the time he was off duty, not wearing a
badge and was not in a position to use his trust and authority,"
Detective Sgt. Danny Belvedresi, who interviewed
Bergstrom before his arrest, said Bergstrom told him "he knew at the
time" the girl was 15 or 16 years old.
The victim, now 18,
said she and other members of her family called Bergstrom "Officer
Robert" and he was a frequent visitor at her home. She said she and the
others had also gone swimming several times at the apartment complex
where Bergstrom lived.
She said she had gone to the apartment
with Bergstrom after he offered to fix hamburgers for the family and
while there said Bergstrom had intercourse with her.
me down on the bed, pulled my pants down and I told him I didn't want
it to happen," the girl told Deputy Prosecutor Shana Simmering.
She said she tried to resist and Bergstrom "held her arms down until he
and deputy prosecutors Rik Ramsey and Karres Manning represented the
state during the trial, which began Thursday at about 2:30 p.m.
following jury selection that lasted the morning.
attorneys Hampton and Blake Hendrix of Little Rock made much of the
fact that although the incident happened in 2002, the girl did not
report it until August 2003, and then only after Bergstrom had been
involved in a confrontation with her boyfriend.
"She had the opportunity to complain for 14 months and didn't
until she was influenced by her boyfriend," Hendrix said.
one brave lady to stand up and go to court against a accused child
rapist, specially when the accused child rapist is a
06/10/2005 - An Evening Shade man didn't have to say a word five years
ago after a Jacksonville police officer questioned him regarding a
routine traffic violation, a Pulaski County jury determined Wednesday.
Michael Clark, the verdict upholds what he considered his
constitutional right not to reveal his name, address or driver's
license to the officer, who was investigating whether Clark illegally
parked his Harley at a Wal-Mart on May 11, 2000.
was all about freedom," Clark said Wednesday after a jury found him
guilty of parking in a handicapped space but acquitted him of an
obstruction charge for not answering the officer's question.