Jones County killer gets early release

Source: Mississippi Department of Corrections
Source: Mississippi Department of Corrections

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  "Evil." That is how Jones County Assistant District Attorney J. Ronald Parrish describes anyone who is convicted of manslaughter like James Michael Reeves.

According to Parrish, Reeves was charged with killing his 34-year-old estranged wife Ellen and her male friend Kelly Perrett in 2001. For the manslaughter conviction Reeves got 20 years in prison but only served nine years. He's now being held at Central Mississippi Earned Release Supervision in Rankin County.

"Somebody needs to give the people an explanation. This is absurd, it's ridiculous and it is outrageous," said Parrish.

Parrish wants state lawmakers to increase the penalties for violent crimes and prevent early release.

"They can increase the penalty for manslaughter from 5 to 50 years like Florida. They can provide that anyone who commits a violent crime not withstanding anything else in the law has to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can turn them loose," said Parrish.

With the news of Reeves release, Parrish says family members of one of the victim's are already expressing worry.

"They're very upset and they're very concerned, and I can understand that. How would you like to go to sleep every night knowing that somebody who killed your sister or whatever is out walking around in the street?," said Parrish.

Although not understanding the thought process behind the release, Parrish says it could all come down to a budget.

"I think money may have something to do for it, but I don't think there is a tax payer in the state of Mississippi that minds spending whatever it takes to keep a killer or a child molester locked up," said Parrish.

If early releases continue Parrish says this can start a bad pattern for the state.

For information on inmates and their release dates you can go to for inmate details.