Frank Melton Behind Bars - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/08/07 - Jackson, MS

Frank Melton Behind Bars

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton is in jail. He turned himself in to Hinds County Deputies Tuesday morning. A warrant was out for his arrest for alleged probation violations. 

Melton had been staying at St. Dominic hospital since last Thursday complaining of health problems, which held the sheriff off from serving the warrant.  But now Mayor Melton is being held in the Hinds County jail in Raymond.

His attorney says a bond revocation hearing is set for 1:30 Friday before Judge Tomie Green, where there's a possibility his jail time could be extended, unless the Mississippi Supreme Court steps in before then. The mayor's surrender came unexpectedly, even to Sheriff McMillin, who found out from probation services that Melton had left the hospital and headed home.

McMillin said, "Mayor Melton was at his domicile.  That was indicated by the ankle bracelet he was wearing; he entered his home about 7:30."

The former KTRE anchorman, general manager, and CEO turned himself in to sheriff's deputies just after 9:00 AM and was booked and brought to the Raymond, where he will remain in a medical wing of the jail.

McMillin also stated, "You wouldn't put someone as high profile as the mayor in general population, and also he's just been released from the hospital, and we want to be able to monitor his medical condition as best we can."

City spokesman and Jackson police Commander Tyrone Lewis stated,"The mayor is still going to be under the doctor's care; we're still concerned. They're still concerned about his condition just coming off a double bypass heart surgery, so this doesn't make things better, by him being incarcerated."

Commander Lewis wouldn't say why the mayor decided to leave the hospital. Sources close to WLBT say his condition had improved so much, his doctor had no excuse to keep him there. Now melton's mood is described as "heartbroken."

Lewis said, "This is a sad day for the city of Jackson. It's a sad day for the state of Mississippi. It's a sad day all around the world for the leader of a city to be arrested for trying to do something positive for his city, to rid this city of crime, to rid this city of things that have affected the way of life in this city."

Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, who is a long time acquaintance of Melton, says he found no pleasure in locking up the mayor.  "This is not a proud day for anybody involved -- not for the city, not for me personally, certainly not for the mayor and those who support him.  It's not a time for anyone to feel satisfied."

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