TUPELO • A Saltillo 17-year-old, who was sentenced as an adult in May to house arrest for four felonies, was arrested again Thursday and charged with six more felonies.
Lee County Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins ordered Teiryn Lee Nichols without bond on the new charges.
“For the last week, he has been terrorizing the community, breaking into vehicles and stealing vehicles,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “He is very intelligent and had a great future ahead of him but he wasted that.
“His second and third chances are over. It’s time for him to be held accountable for his actions.”
Nichols is accused of breaking into numerous unlocked cars in the Springhill Road area late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning. In many cases he has admitted to, the victims don’t even know their car was entered.
He was arrested Thursday at a Highway 371 residence. The homeowner was also arrested and charged with hindering prosecution, a misdemeanor.
Friday afternoon, he was formally charged with four counts of auto burglary, felony taking of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon. During his arrest, officers recovered a firearm stolen from one of the vehicles in his possession.
Nichols was found asleep at the home of Stacy Hood, 39, of 155 Highway 371, Mooreville. Johnson said deputies encountered her while searching for Nichols but she was not forthcoming.
“She said she was in the area to pick up a couple of individuals for her kids, but she would not tell us who,” Johnson said. “He had a relationship with a person in her house.”
Even though he won’t turn 18 until this fall, Nichols has an extensive criminal record. The bulk of it happened while he was still considered a juvenile. That changed in August 2018 when he and others overpowered a guard at the Juvenile Detention Center and escaped. The courts then certified the 15-year-old as an adult and transferred those charges to circuit court.
He was initially facing up to 55 years in a state prison and more than $25,000 in fines for a month-long crime spree. In May, he agreed to plead guilty to four felonies and have two others dropped.
On the charge of stealing a vehicle worth more than $5,000 but less than $25,000, Senior Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk handed Nichols a 10-year suspended sentence, followed by four years of house arrest and then one year of probation. For the charges of felony fleeing, a separate car theft and breaking and entering, he was given suspended sentences of 5, 5 and 7 years; respectively.
Nichols will likely have to serve all or part of those 27 years of suspended sentences.
“We will be seeking a revocation,” said District Attorney John Weddle. “I won’t discuss specific recommendations until we have a chance to look at the details of the new charges.
“We asked for prison time when he entered his plea (in May).”