Meth convict allowed home on house arrest after 13 months

Published 12:35 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

A Vicksburg landscaper found guilty by a jury 13 months ago of manufacturing methamphetamine and sentenced to serve 10 years in prison was back in Warren County Thursday after having his sentence reduced to house arrest.

James Dudley Maynord, 36, was placed by the Mississippi Department of Corrections in its Intensive Supervision Program and released to an undisclosed Warren County location, said MDOC spokesman Tara Booth. Maynord will wear an ankle bracelet, have his movements monitored and be subject to announced and random checks and drug testing, she said.

“He can only report to his field officer, and go to work or school or church,” Booth said. “He cannot leave the county without permission.”

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Maynord was convicted Sept. 9, 2009, by a Warren County jury of possession of methamphetamine and possession of two or more precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture meth. He faced a maximum of 40 years in prison but was sentenced by presiding Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick to two concurrent 15-year sentences, with five years suspended on each, for a net of 10 years to serve. He was also fined $20,000.

Reached Thursday, District Attorney Ricky Smith said, “I’m disappointed in the decisions that the MDOC is making in releasing prisoners early. I believe it undermines the authority of the DA’s office. We expend our time and funds — and the funds the county has to put on a trial — to convict an individual, and MDOC makes the decision to release them to their homes with only a tenth of their sentence served.”

Smith said it leads others committing crimes in the community to believe court actions and sentences won’t have any real effect on them.

MDOC has several programs in which inmates can be released from prison before completing the sentences handed to them by a judge, including ISP, also known as house arrest, earned release and parole, said Booth. ISP carries the highest level of supervision, she said.

Maynord had been serving at the MDOC Community Work Center in Yazoo City since January, said Booth. MDOC work centers are alternative facilities at which inmates perform janitorial and mechanical duties and beautification of roadsides for cities, counties, state agencies and charitable organizations.

Maynord was arrested in December 2007 at Magnolia Commons, a 192-apartment complex off Grange Hall Road, along with three other defendants whose cases were handled separately. In court testimony, deputies and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigators said an active meth “cook” was in progress in Maynord’s pickup parked at the complex, and the drug was found on him as well.

Before his arrest and conviction, Maynord ran a landscaping company. Booth said MDOC cannot disclose where he will work during his house arrest, which could continue until December 2011, at which time he would be eligible for parole.

Maynord also has accrued “30 for 30” time, in which 30 days is earned off a sentence for every 30 days worked while incarcerated, she said. He currently has an earned release date of January 2017, and a completed sentence date of July 2018, she said.

Vicksburg police Lt. Bobby Stewart and Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said they had not been notified by MDOC of Maynord’s move.

Maynord’s case was the second this week in which Smith took MDOC to task for releasing prisoners early — a three-time Warren County convicted felon was arrested in Ocean Springs on burglary charges after being paroled earlier this year after apparently serving about 2 1/2 years of a 12-year sentence.

Maynord, who admitted on the stand that he was addicted to meth, was the third Vicksburg defendant with a young family sentenced in 2009 to prison because of the drug.

In July 2009, Charles Dudley White and Bethany White pleaded guilty to possession of meth, intent to manufacture the drug and child endangerment after an October arrest in their home on Cherry Street, where two small children were present. Charles White was sentenced to serve 31 years in prison, and is at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs. Bethany White, sentenced to 29 years, is at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl.