Inmate Pleads Guilty to Possessing Cell Phone during Prison Affair

CLEARFIELD – A state prison inmate who became romantically involved with a prison employee pleaded guilty to possessing a cell phone Monday in Clearfield County Court.

Jason Campbell, 31, an inmate of the Fayette State Correctional Institution, pleaded guilty to possessing weapons or implements of escape, terroristic threats, two counts of contraband and two counts of harassment. He received a consecutive sentence of two to four years in state prison. He was fined $7 plus costs.

While serving time atSCIHoutzdale, Campbell met Rachelle A. Thompson, 48, 130 Thompson Ln., Philipsburg, who was a drug/alcohol treatment specialist. The two began a physical and romantic relationship, according to court documents. She gave Campbell a cell phone, which he used to threaten other prison employees and to research how to unlock his cell doors. He also gave a cell phone to his cell mate in order to keep him quiet.

Prior to sentencing, Campbell asked Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to consider giving him a concurrent sentence, because he had already been punished by the Department of Corrections by being in the “hole” for more than a year.

Ammerman commented that he felt the sentence was appropriate for the “mess he got himself in.” He added that because of his previous record, Campbell’s sentencing guidelines were so high they “are unrealistic.” Currently Campbell is serving a 2001 sentence from Philadelphia of 90 months to 15 years. He also has a concurrent sentence of 10 to 21 years for a murder in Philadelphia. Campbell claimed he was scheduled to meet with the parole board in April of next year.

In October, Thompson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of weapons or implements of escape and contraband-telecommunications device. In November, she was sentenced to six months to two years less one day in jail and two years consecutive probation.

A trial for Thompson where she faced three counts of institutional sexual assault, weapons or implements of escape, and contraband-telecommunications device actually began in October but was stopped when she decided to plead guilty rather than have explicit photographs of her, which were found on the phone, shown to the jury as evidence. 

According to testimony at the trial, the investigation into Thompson began after a corrections officer saw an inmate using a cell phone. The next day the cell was searched and two cell phones were found hidden in laundry detergent boxes. In addition to the photographs on the cell phone, photographs of Thompson found in the cell had writing on them addressing Campbell as “my future husband”.

At that start of her trial, Campbell was called as a witness but he refused to testify stating he that he would “rather die” than testify against her. He also refused to testify against her during a preliminary hearing and received an additional six months to one year sentence for contempt of court.

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