TULSA, Okla. – Five Joplin area residents plead guilty in an Oklahoma federal court for their involvement in the kidnapping and killing of a Joplin woman.
Jolene Walker Campbell’s body was discovered on July 15, 2020, in a remote field in Mayes County within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation. Federal investigators said her death happened between July 4 and 5, 2020.
Morgan Lee Bowman, 26; pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness, victim, and informant by using and threatening physical force. She along with Megan Louise Detherage, 28, and Lane Ryan Bronson bound, blindfolded, and kidnapped two witnesses from a Joplin home and drove them to a remote location in Seneca occupied by Tre Robert Allen Ackerson and Breanna Sloan.
Ackerson used a semi-automatic rifle to repeatedly shoot at one of the witnesses and told the witness to “dance.” The second witness, who was still bound and blindfolded, was forced to listen, according to a statement released by federal prosecutors.
After the shooting, Bowman, Sloan, and Detherage took the witnesses’ personal belongings and wiped down the car used in the kidnapping with bleach with the intention of destroying DNA and fingerprint evidence and threatened the witnesses to prevent them from talking with law enforcement about the crimes.
Detherage pleaded to misprision of a felony by failing to inform law enforcement about her participation in the kidnapping.
Sarah Michelle Humbard, 25, and David William Morris, 34, pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness, victim, and informant by using the threat of physical force. The two admitted to luring the witness to drive to the Precious Moments Hotel in Carthage where they met Bronson, who demanded the witness change testimony regarding Ackerson, and if not, the witness would pay for it.
They also threatened a witness by reminding the witness of Campbell’s killing and that the witness was “playing with fire.”
Chloe Louise Stith, 21, pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness, victim, and informant by using and threatening physical force.
Stith admitted she helped another person in a separate incident in the use of force against two other witnesses with the intention of keeping them from communicating with federal law enforcement about the kidnapping and killing of Campbell.
She admitted to covering the two witnesses’ eyes with duct tape and driving the witnesses against their will to a remote location on Aug. 13, 2020, where one witness was physically assaulted by the other person who had accompanied Stith.
“My office and our partners at the FBI will uphold our federal trust responsibility in Indian Country and work to ensure justice prevails for victim Jolene Walker Campbell and the witnesses harmed in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Eleven defendants from the Joplin were charged in U.S. District Court in Tulsa for their various roles related to Campbell’s kidnapping and subsequent death.