Man back in jail after being released from prison

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019


NATCHEZ — A Natchez man with a long criminal history was back in the county jail Monday after state prison officials were set to release him early, a fact that astonished the sheriff’s office that has captured him multiple times. Russell Byron Hazlip was being held in the state penitentiary on a Sept. 23 parole violation, said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

Patten said the Mississippi Department of Corrections Parole Board notified his office last week that Hazlip was about to be released early and his office traveled to pick Hazlip up on charges related to Hazlip’s Sept. 23 parole violation.

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In September, Hazlip, 40, of 2 Maplewood Lane, had only recently been released from prison on parole when Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies said they found him in possession of several drugs and firearms as they served a search warrant on his residence Sept. 23.

At that time Hazlip was out on parole after serving a portion of a sentence on a May 2017 guilty plea to a charge of felony fleeing.

That guilty plea was in relation to charges from a February 2017 incident in which Hazlip, who was wanted on a bond revocation warrant at the time, reportedly led sheriff’s deputies on a chase, rammed a deputy’s vehicle and resisted arrest.

In that incident, Hazlip reportedly cut through the lawn of a residence at the corner of Sherwood Drive and South Shields Lane and then rammed a deputy’s vehicle and continued to drive through lawns before getting stuck in a ditch.

Officials said Hazlip then exited the vehicle with a loaded gun in his hand, and deputies were able to apprehend him.

Hazlip was sentenced to serve five years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections with full credit for time served and fines and after “serving three years, the remaining two years shall be on formal reporting post release supervision…” court records state.

Currently, Hazlip is being held on charges of possession of oxycodone, possession of marijuana, possession of hydrocodone, possession of hydrocodone with intent and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Those charges stem from the Sept. 23 search warrant and Hazlip’s bond is set at $40,000.

“I’m one who believes in second chances,” Patten said, “but in this kind of thing when the charges go over and over again, that goes out the window.”

Patten said he believes early release should only be for non-violent offenders, and he is especially concerned when such behavior involves firearms.

“When it comes to guns and other violent crimes, they don’t deserve a second chance,” Patten said.