Byrd didn't violate sentence, commissioner tells Jackson County sheriff

MDOC has instructed Byrd to "cease any contact with employees of the sheriff's office that might be interpreted as threatening"


By Patrick Ochs
The Sun Herald

BILOXI, Miss. — Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps has responded to a letter from Jackson County Sheriff Charles Britt regarding former Sheriff Mike Byrd.

On July 9, Britt first raised concerns about whether Byrd, now a twice-convicted felon, violated conditions of his sentence when he called Jackson County Sheriff's Office employees about whom they were going to support in the upcoming sheriff's election.

In a press release Saturday, Epps said Britt's letter "does not indicate any activity that would subject the offender to revocation of house arrest."

Epps said MDOC has instructed Byrd to "cease any contact with employees of the sheriff's office that might be interpreted as threatening."

Epps had told Britt in a letter Tuesday the Sheriff's Office should contact MDOC should it "become aware of any activity of the offender that may be considered a crime."

In his letter to Epps, Britt said Byrd contacted a Sheriff's Office employee April 10, He said the conversation between Byrd and the employee "was not a pleasant one."

"In fact, it was disturbing to the officer," Britt said last week. "Byrd's purpose in calling my employee was to attempt to persuade that employee to support and endorse a candidate in an upcoming campaign which is scheduled to take place on the Coast."

Britt also said Byrd became "abusive in his tone and language" during the conversation.

Britt said Byrd has attempted to contact a number of Sheriff's office employees, and had "similar contact with local business professionals."

Byrd is serving sentences under house arrest on a state charge of intimidating a witness and a federal charge of witness tampering.

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