TUPELO • A Lee County teen given a second chance by the courts in May will now spend the next 22 years in an adult prison.
Teiryn Lee Nichols, 17, was on house arrest for four felonies when he was arrested July 9 and charged with six more felonies; including car burglary and stealing a vehicle.
During a revocation hearing July 31, Senior Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk revoked the house arrest and ordered Nichols to serve all 22 years that were previously suspended. Nichols will now be turned over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections to begin serving his time. He will be returned to Lee County for court appearances on the new charges.
“Nichols failed to take advantage of the suspended prison time,” said First Circuit District Attorney John Weddle. “The new felony charges resulted in his arrest and subsequent revocation of all the previously suspended time.
“Not only has he been sentenced to the maximum time previously suspended by the court, but he also still faces prosecution on the new charges.”
Nichols, who will not turn 18 for another two months, 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.
Weddle said his office asked for prison time in May on the charges of breaking and entering, stealing two cars, and felony fleeing. Instead, Funderburk sentenced him to a total of 22 years, with all suspended, plus four years of house arrest and one year of probation.
Just two months after being given a second chance, Nichols again ran afoul of the law. In early July, he was accused of breaking into numerous unlocked cars in the Springhill Road area.
He was arrested at a Highway 371 residence and 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.
Lee County Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins ordered Nichols without bond on the new charges.