Wilkinson County jail warden turns himself in on multiple charges

Published 12:12 am Thursday, October 24, 2013

WOODVILLE — The warden of the Wilkinson County jail was arrested last week on charges he lied on his law enforcement certification paperwork when he denied having any felony convictions, despite having pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1999.

Roderick Frye, 28, was booked into the West Feliciana Parish jail Oct. 17 after voluntarily turning himself in on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted person and filing or maintaining false public records. He was released on a $40,000 bond that afternoon.

Frye, who before taking a job in Wilkinson County worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi, filed the alleged false paperwork when applying to work at the Angola State Penitentiary, according to an affidavit from the Louisiana Office of the Inspector General.

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The firearms charges against him stem from the fact Frye reportedly did firearms qualifications training for law enforcement in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Frye worked at Angola until December 2012. He was appointed the warden at the Wilkinson County jail in August.

Frye was arrested on murder charges in late 1998 — when he was 13 years old, though he was charged as an adult — after he fatally stabbed 14-year-old Kenneth Grayson on a school bus in the Stampley community in Jefferson County. Nearly 30 students were on the bus at the time, and Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker said Frye confessed to the killing.

Before the matter went to trial, Frye pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with eight years to be served and seven years suspended. His prison sentence also required he receive GED training and psychological counseling. Frye was released Dec. 19, 2005.

During his time in prison, Frye’s mother filed a lawsuit against a Natchez doctor, alleging he had misdiagnosed Frye with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in 1996 and prescribed him Ritalin without giving proper warning of what withdrawal effects of sudden stoppage of the drug could be.

During the trial, it was alleged Frye had become addicted to crack cocaine in an attempt to simulate the effects of Ritalin. A Jefferson County jury later found the physician was not responsible for the reported addiction.

When Frye was appointed warden in Wilkinson County, Wilkinson County Sheriff Reginald Jackson was quoted in a news release as saying, “Frye had all the training experience and credentials needed to bring the Wilkinson County Jail up to higher standards to meet the required American Correctional Association Standard Procedures and Guidelines.”

Frye reportedly remains employed with the WCSO. Jackson did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Walker has previously declined to discuss the matter.

An official with the Mississippi Office of Standards and Training said in August the office checks to see if officers it certifies meet certain qualifications, but it is the prerogative of local law enforcement agencies to do background checks on individual candidates.

Frye’s initial court appearance in West Feliciana Parish is scheduled for Dec. 12.