Felon accused of choking woman, firing gun in city limits

SDN Editor

A Starkville man is in jail accused of strangling a female and discharging a firearm in the city limits.

A Starkville Police Department press release on Monday said officers arrested 26-year-old Christopher Harris, of Starkville, for three warrants last Thursday after an altercation on the morning of Jan. 22 at Forest Creek Apartment in the 1300 block of Louisville Street.

SPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Brandon Lovelady told the Starkville Daily News that Harris is accused of choking the female victim, who was treated by EMS officials at the scene, but did not require hospitalization.

Few details have been released regarding the altercation and Harris’ relationship to the female victim, but the Starkville Daily News has filed a public records request with the city of Starkville to obtain the affidavit from the arrest, and will have more details as they come available.

Harris was arrested on Thursday for the three charges, including aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a felon and discharging a firearm in the city limits, which is a misdemeanor.

Harris’ bond was set at $15,000. He is still in the Oktibbeha County Jail.

According to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court records, Harris was previously sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman to a suspended three-year prison sentence, with three years probation for felony marijuana possession of more than 30 grams, but less than 250 grams.

Prior to the felony pot arrest, Harris did not have any prior felony charges in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.

Harris was indicted by an Oktibbeha County grand jury in January 2017 on the marijuana charge, to which he initially pleaded not guilty.

Through a plea deal with District Attorney Scott Colom’s office, Harris was enrolled into the Sixteenth Circuit Court’s Pre-Trial Diversion Program — which is aimed at rehabilitating non-violent drug offenders by incentivizing the possibility of a clean record in exchange for consistently lawful behavior over a pre-determined period of time. This often includes drug classes and screenings.

Court documents say Harris failed to comply with the terms of the pre-trial program and was arrested again in October 2017.

Harris then pleaded guilty to the initial felony marijuana charge in January 2018 and was sentenced to probation.