Man's drug use may land him back in prison

Rodney Romel Harris
Staff Writer

A 42-year-old Clay County man who broke into a woman's house to assault her and then forced police to kick in the door to get him out is back in jail for violating the terms of his prison release.

Rodney Romel Harris was Tuesday morning after his probation was revoked last August for failing to complete drug and alcohol treatment, not paying fines and restitution, admitting to cocaine and marijuana use and other violations.

He'd been sought since then.

Harris pleaded guilty in Clay County Circuit Court on Jan. 17, 2014 to breaking into the home of Peggy Chandler on July 17, 2013. During his plea, he admitted to being high on marijuana and cocaine at the time of the incident, according to court records.

In a victim impact statement, Peggy Chandler said she wanted Harris to get help with his drug problem.

We have talked and he admits he has a problem. I don't think he would have done this if he weren't using drugs," she wrote in October 2013.

As part of a plea agreement, Judge Jim Kitchens sentenced Harris to three years in prison and five years post release supervision. Completing drug treatment was one of the conditions of his sentence.

He was released from prison in August 2015 but did not complete the terms of his probation, according to the revocation signed last August.

In an unrelated case out of Lowndes County, 30-year-old Akeem Grassaree, the son of Noxubee County Sheriff Terry Grassaree, is in the Clay County Jail for failing to complete a drug treatment program as required as part of his parole.

Grassaree was convicted of possession of cocaine last July by a Lowndes County Circuit Court jury and sentence to three years in prison. He was given credit for 320 days he'd been in jail on the cocaine and other charges before he made bond. Given credit for that time, he was released on Oct. 27, 2017 but had to successfully complete parole.

He was housed in Clay County as a "neutral site" since his father is sheriff in Noxubee and his conviction was in Lowndes.

In a similar case, 49-year-old Vernon Neil Elmore is jailed for violating his parole on burglary convictions in Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties. As part of a plea agreement in those two cases on Nov. 4, 2010, a third burglary in Clay County was retired.In that case, he broke into a home and stole hydrocodone and a jar of change.