- By Native News Online Staff
In a written plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Tre Robert Allen Ackerson of Webb City, Missouri, admitted to killing Jolene Walker Campbell, 35, in rural Mayes County, Oklahoma, in July 2020.
Campbell’s body was discovered by a man baling hay in a Mayes County field on July 15, 2020, within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation.
“Specifically, I intentionally shot Jolene Walker Campbell twice with a firearm, cut her throat with a knife and hit her head several times with a tire jack until she died from the injuries,” Ackerson wrote in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Oklahoma, Ackerson and codefendant Breanna Sloan, 24, of Joplin, Missouri, conspired to kidnap and murder Campbell — and then conspired to with additional codefendants to threaten witnesses and destroy evidence to cover up their crimes.
“Jolene Campbell was only 35 when she was brutally murdered, a young woman with a long life ahead of her," FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray said in a statement. "She left behind a grieving family that deserves justice, and after three long years and 9 convictions, we hope they can finally begin to heal from this tragic loss,”
In the early morning hours of July 5, 2020, Sloan and Ackerson were driving around Joplin, Missouri. Ackerson spotted Campbell walking on the side of the road and stated, “that’s that b — !” Ackerson told Sloan he had robbed Campbell just a few hours earlier, and Sloan asked whether he wanted to lure Campbell into the vehicle. Ackerson agreed.
Sloan drove past Campbell to let Ackerson hide in the woods. She then waited in the car for Campbell to reach her location and offered her a ride. After Campbell got into the front passenger seat, Ackerson emerged from the woods armed with a gun, climbed into the rear seat, and told Sloan to drive.
Ackerson attempted to rob Campbell again, but she had nothing more for him to steal. Campbell suggested they go meet someone else she knew in Oklahoma City to obtain the money Ackerson wanted. During the drive from Missouri through Oklahoma, Campbell fell asleep. They stopped at a gas station in Tulsa before Sloan took a fateful detour into Mayes County, Oklahoma, to go to another destination for supplies.
Before they reached the intended destination, Ackerson instructed Sloan to turn into a rural field and stop on a dead-end dirt road. He then forced Campbell into the field and killed her.
On July 20, 2021, 11 defendants from the Joplin, Missouri, area were charged for their various roles related to the kidnapping that led to the death of the Campbell, conspiring to obstruct the ensuing federal investigation, including tampering with witnesses by using and threatening physical force.
Ackerson will remain in the custody of the Marshal Service pending formal sentencing at a future date and faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison.
Sloan pleaded guilty on November 17, 2022 to aiding and abetting Ackerson in the kidnapping that resulted in Campbell’s death. Sloan faces up to life in prison.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women experienced the second-highest rate of homicide in 2020.
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