BISBEE — A tentative agreement has been reached between attorneys in a child abuse case that investigators say involved the systematic mistreatment of four adopted children over the course of several years.
Lawyers for defendants Brian, Monica and Jade Campbell, prosecutors, and the attorney representing the children who have said they were abused hope the issues discussed in a settlement conference Wednesday in Cochise County Superior Court Judge James Conlogue’s courtroom will lead to a plea agreement later this month.
Assistant Cochise County Attorney Lori Zucco and lawyer Lynn Cadigan — who represents the children — declined comment Wednesday afternoon after the negotiations wrapped up because the agreement is not yet final. Prosecutor Michael Powell has been working with the defense team for months to settle the matter.
The indictment charging Brian and Monica Campbell, filed in February 2019, alleges the four children were victims of routine abuse that included being held down so Brian Campbell could shock the child with a Taser, being hit with a wooden object, being forced to stand nude in the house where cameras were present, having food withheld for up to three days and forcing one of the girls to sleep nude in the same bed as her parents and brothers. Monica Campbell is accused of choking two of the children, the indictment states.
The Campbell’s daughter, Jade Campbell, is charged with aggravated assault by domestic violence and child abuse by domestic violence.
Brian and Monica Campbell severed their parental rights to the four children in March. Brian Campbell used to work for the Department of Child Safety investigating cases similar to what he, his wife and his daughter are accused of. Monica Campbell was employed as a dispatch communications supervisor with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
The charges include aggravated assault by domestic violence, child abuse by domestic violence and permitting life, health or morals of a minor to be impaired.
Investigators say the offenses occurred between 2016 and 2018. Attorneys have said the abuse may have been going on since 2012.
Cadigan said the victims at one point were forced to “dig their own graves.”
A hearing at which a plea agreement could be entered is scheduled for Dec. 14 in Cochise County Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson’s courtroom.