A former bank teller who lured Jamel Campbell to his death nearly four years ago, then cooperated with the state's prosecution of his killer, was sentenced Friday in New London Superior Court to five years in prison.
Meagan "Slim" Foley, 29, of New London pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. She had implicated Ryan Wright in the shooting death of 33-year-old 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 inn so that Wright could kill him.
Prosecutor Paul J. Narducci acknowledged that Campbell's family was not pleased with the disposition of Foley's case.
"The state recognizes the horrific nature of the crime, and Miss Foley was an instrumental part in the unfolding of that crime," Narducci said, adding later, "Based on my experience, she was instrumental in the conviction of Mr. Wright."
Narducci said Foley gave statements that assisted the state in the discovery of information, including phone records, in a timely manner during the police investigation.
Following her arrest and Wright's, she testified against Wright at a probable cause hearing and in two trials with the hope of getting consideration from the state. Wright was convicted and is serving a 60-year prison sentence.
Campbell's aunt Shamika Sprattley said she was not pleased with the plea deal and said that Foley carefully "plotted" to kill her nephew.
"She has shown no remorse throughout the trial," Sprattley said. "My family mourns every day. ... She knew he (Campbell) had a son and she didn't care. She only cared for herself."
Emily Strother, the mother of Campbell's son and a key player in the case, did not speak at the sentencing but was visibly upset.
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.
Foley's attorney Averum J. Sprecher said Foley agreed to help Wright because she legitimately feared that Wright would harm her family.
Foley chose not to speak at the sentencing.
Judge Patrick J. Clifford agreed that the sentence was not long enough for the crime but told Campbell's family that sometimes the state has to make deals that appear to be unreasonable.
"It happens with many cases that you have to make a deal with one to get the greater person involved," Clifford said. "I understand the frustration of it, but her cooperation led to a conviction."