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Morgan County Jail employees charged in inmate affair

Morgan County Jail employees charged in inmate affair

December 14th, 2017 in Local News

Three Morgan County Jail employees have been charged in connection with an inmate affair case at the Versailles jail.

Janet Phillips, 31, is charged with sexual contact with an inmate, two counts of delivering prohibited articles to the jail and bribery of a public servant.

Elizabeth Knipp, 26, is charged with sexual contact with an inmate, delivering prohibited articles to the jail, concealing an offense and acceding to corruption.

Robert Hoover, 25, is charged with sexual contact with an inmate and delivering prohibited articles to the jail.

Phillips, a nurse contracted to work at the jail, had a relationship with an inmate, Vernon Parker, from September through November.

Knipp and Hoover, both jail officers, are charged with aiding Phillips to allow her to have the affair with Parker.

According to probable cause statements, Phillips' ex-boyfriend grew suspicious of Phillips having a sexual affair with an inmate. He told authorities he had found a love letter from an unknown person in her car and observed Phillips had received text messages from a Morgan County Jail inmate. The ex-boyfriend brought a baggie of burned letter fragments, alleging Phillips had attempted to destroy the correspondence a month earlier.

When questioned by authorities, Phillips admitted to having sex with Parker at least five times. She gave permission for deputies to search her vehicle, and they found a pregnancy test and a power of attorney from Parker to Phillips.

Phillips told deputies she believed she was pregnant by Parker and said she sent a picture of the positive pregnancy test to Knipp to show Parker. Phillips also said she had brought tobacco pouches and chew into the jail for Parker.

Phillips allowed a forensics search of her cellphone where deputies found several texts sent to Knipp to tell Parker of when she (Phillips) would be working.

When interviewed, Knipp confirmed Phillips was having an affair with Parker and that she (Knipp) had brought a phone into the jail for Parker's use. Knipp also said Phillips paid her $100 at a Walmart to keep all details about the affair secret. It was at that time, Knipp said, that Phillips bought a prepaid cellphone for Parker to use.

Hoover also admitted to authorities he knew of the affair and said Phillips told him she and Parker were going to start a life together once Parker was released. Parker was beginning a five-year sentence of supervised probation after pleading guilty Nov. 27 to failing to register as a sex offender.