It took Leflore County Justice Court Judge Margaret Carey-McCray less than two hours to dismiss burglary, trespassing and assault complaints against Greenwood Police Officer Terrence Craft regarding a Feb. 4 incident.

The dismissed criminal complaint was filed by Jerrance Jones against Craft and the Police Department.

Jones was set to testify Friday in Leflore County Circuit Court against Craft when Richard Oakes, county prosecutor, informed him that his testimony could be used against him at his upcoming trial.

Jones is facing five felony and three misdemeanor counts stemming from the incident including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony evading, a seat-belt violation, reckless driving and running a stop sign.

After consulting with his attorney, Carlos Moore of Grenada, Jones requested that his testimony be delayed until the criminal charges against him were resolved.

Oakes objected to the request saying the prosecution was ready to proceed with the case.

Carey-McCray said she would decide at a later date what to do with Jones' request for a continuance.

Mary Jordan, Jones' mother, who is also facing charges of assaulting a police officer in the case, proceeded to testify against Craft, who has served with the department of 2 1/2 years, saying the officer burglarized her home, trespassed and used excessive force against her.

Jordan said on Feb. 4 her son came running through her house at 204 Noel St. and that Craft came into the home and that she heard what sounded like a fire engine.

That sound, Jordan said, under questioning by defense attorney Elizabeth Davis, turned out to be two Greenwood police cars that had engaged in hot pursuit of Jones.

Jordan said Craft came into her home with his service pistol drawn, in the presence of her small grandchild.

Jones attempted to exit the house through a side door, and Craft had him down on the ground and was attempting to place handcuffs on him when Craft looked back and kicked Jordan in her leg as she approached, Jordan said.

Under questioning from Davis, Jordan admitted at the time of the incident that she thought her son was in trouble with the law.

Officer Byron Granderson, who was assisting Craft, testified that when he entered the home immediately after Craft he found Jordan on the back of Craft, fighting him as Craft attempted to handcuff Jones who was struggling to break free.

During the scuffle, five bags of marijuana were retrieved from Jones' hands and, Granderson said, Jordan was attempting to take it from her son.

Granderson said Craft never pulled his gun on Jones or pistol-whipped him.

Craft testified that Jordan resisted him, grabbing him around the neck while he was attempting to arrest Jones.

During the scuffle, Jordan, her husband, Robert Jordan, and Jones' girlfriend, Janskey Dunlap, were attempting to get Craft off of Jones.

Dunlap allegedly sprayed Fantastik cleaner in Craft's face and Craft admitted that he sprayed Jones and Robert Jordan with a Mace-like spray.

Jorden, Robert Jordan and Dunlap were all charged with assaulting a police officer.

Carey-McCray said there was no probable cause or burglary or trespassing against Craft because he was engaged in a "hot pursuit" of Jones.

Under hot pursuit rules, a police officer can enter a home after a suspect in "exigent circumstances," which would preclude the officer from getting a warrant.

"From the totality of the evidence, there was a struggle with Mr. Jones," the judge said.

A few minutes later, Carey-McCray dismissed the assault charge filed by Jordan against Craft.

"This court does not find there was any intent to assault Mrs. Jordan," the judge said.

Moore said afterwards that the lawsuit against Craft and the city would continue despite the dismissal of charges against Craft in Circuit Court.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.