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Commonwealth asks judge to reconsider sentence
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
The commonwealth requested President Judge Fredric Ammerman to reconsider his sentence of Rachelle Thompson, 48 of Philipsburg.
Thompson pleaded guilty in October to the charges of weapons or implements of escape, contraband-telecommunications device and Ammerman sentenced her last month to six months to four years in Clearfield County Jail and ordered her to report for incarceration on Nov. 26.
Thompson was a former drug and alcohol counselor at the State Correctional Institution in Houtzdale. Between April 10, 2010, and September 2011 she had an illicit affair with an inmate Jason Campbell, 30, of Philadelphia and provided him and his cellmate with cell phones.
At yesterday's session of motions court, Assistant District Attorney Beau Grove argued that sentencing guidelines state Thompson should serve a minimum of nine months in prison and asked Ammerman to increase it to that.
Thompson's attorney Ron Collins disputed this and said even if it were true, it is well within the judge's discretion to sentence her to six months due to mitigating circumstances such as damage to her career and reputation, the public humiliation and the numerous witnesses who testified at her sentencing hearing last month stating her importance to her community and her family.
Ammerman asked Grove when Campbell's trial is scheduled to start. Grove said the trial date has not been set but said jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow.
Ammerman said he has 120 days to make his decision and said he would take the commonwealth's motion under advisement and would wait to see what happens at Campbell's trial.
At the sentencing hearing Shaw told the court that if Thompson is willing to testify against Campbell at his upcoming trial, the commonwealth might be willing to change its position on her time in jail.
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