New London woman to serve 5 years for role in murder

A former bank teller who lured Jamel Campbell to his death four years ago, then cooperated with the state’s prosecution of his killer, will be sentenced in September to five years in prison.

Meagan “Slim” Foley, 29, of New London pleaded guilty in New London Superior Court Tuesday to conspiracy to commit murder. She had implicated Ryan Wright in the shooting death of Campbell at the Ramada Inn in Groton on Dec. 9, 2008, telling police how she sent Campbell a series of text messages to lure him to the Ramada Inn so that Wright could kill him.

Following her arrest and Wright’s, she testified against Wright at a probable cause hearing and two trials with the hope of getting consideration from the state. Wright was convicted and is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

Prosecutor Paul J. Narducci said that Foley gave statements that assisted the state “greatly” in the discovery of information, including phone records, in a timely manner during the police investigation. He said also that by testifying in court, she was instrumental in bringing out the conviction of Wright.

Once Wright’s case was resolved, Narducci said he offered Foley a plea deal involving a sentence of 15 years in prison, suspended after five years served and three years probation. Narducci said he would comment further at Foley’s sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Emily Strother, the mother of Campbell’s son and a key player in the case, angrily addressed Judge Patrick J. Clifford during Foley’s court appearance. At times, she spoke directly to Foley, who stood a few feet away, dressed in prison garb, with her attorney Averum J. Sprecher. Foley’s parents watched from the front row of the courtroom.

“I get it that she helped the state,” Strother said. “I get it that he’s guilty.”

But during the trial, Foley showed no remorse for the death of a man with whom she had been friends for 10 years, Strother said. Foley even had the audacity to call her the day after Campbell’s murder and ask if she needed anything, Strother said.

Foley was working at Liberty Bank when the crime occurred and was living with her family in New London. She said she went along with the plot to kill Campbell because she didn’t want anything to happen to her own family.

Testimony at Wright’s trial revealed that Wright and Campbell had been feuding because Wright slept with Strother while Campbell was incarcerated on drug charges. Campbell and a friend had stolen Wright’s “prized possession,” a white Mercedes, a month before the murder, and Wright, seeking revenge, conspired with Foley to lure Campbell to the hotel, where Wright shot Campbell six times.

Campbell was 33 and had a son with Strother.

The judge agreed that the sentence is probably not long enough for the crime but told Strother that the reality was that the state sometimes has to make “what appears to be unreasonable deals.”

“Sometimes the state has to deal with the devil to get the (main) person who is responsible,” Clifford said.


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