Jarred Mitchell Harrell, the Florida man who was arrested in Meridian for possession of child pornography charges and has since been charged with more offenses, spent almost two weeks locked up in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility in Meridian.
During that time he spoke by telephone with his mother, Annis Dailey, on two occasions. Those conversations are recorded by officials at the LCSD. The Supreme Court ruled conversations in jails and prison are for public record and officials with the LCSD said a prerecorded message informs callers the conversation is being taped.
The Meridian Star obtained the two calls between Harrell and Dailey and in them Dailey told her 24-year old son, "Honey, I don't believe anything, trust me. And the thing is, is that I'm your alibi, so I have to be real careful, you know, what I say to anybody."
Two things are very clear from the conversations. Dailey is concise on what her son should do in terms of passing time while in jail and on what he should do to get an attorney to represent him during his time incarcerated in Meridian. She all but commands him to insist on getting an attorney before he was to appear before a court in Meridian.
In reality no such hearing was ever held in Meridian. Sheriff Billy Sollie repeatedly said a hearing wouldn't be held in Meridian because Harrell didn't have any local charges. He said his department was just holding Harrell for federal and Florida state authorities while Harrell fought extradition back to Florida. After a governor's warrant was issued, authorities took custody of Harrell on Tuesday.
In the two short phone calls, Harrell seems to be down, his voice hardly audible in some instances. Dailey frequently tells her son to speak up because he is mumbling and inaudible in the first phone call. He talks of the pressure he is under and that, "I think the stress is killing me!"
During his second court appearance in two days since being returned to Florida, this time on charges of molesting a young child and 12 counts of child pornography, Harrell was dressed in a dark-colored smock made up of a material that would easily tear. The smocks are used for inmates who are perceived as suicide threats.
On the other hand, Dailey is no stranger to court proceedings.
Locked in a custody battle over Harrell and his older sister in the 1980s and 90s, Dailey, who married Howard Harrell of Lucedale in 1979, has lost and then regained custody of the two siblings several times under bizarre circumstances.
According to Mississippi court records, Annis Harrell separated from her husband while she was working as a secretary for a married, eccentric Lucedale inventor named Joe Newman. In February 1989, Newman publicized what a judges order states is a 17- page "news release" in which he announced he was married not only to his wife but to Annis Harrell and Jarred Harrell's older sister — who was eight at the time.
The order does not indicate why the release was issued or how, but the order says Newman described himself as a prophet of God and that his wife believed him. the order further stated during a court hearing in the custody matter, Newman said his marriage to the daughter was spiritual, not sexual, and that he would debate with God whether to consummate the marriage.
Alerted to the public statements, state child welfare officials sought to take the children from their mother, who officially married Newman in September 1989. The judge ordered the children removed from their home. The girl went immediately with her father. Jarred, then three, stayed with Annis' mother until also moving in with Harrell.
The judge said in the documents Annis Harrell was, "manipulative."
Howard Harrell has said he has doubts as to whether Jarred Harrell is really his biological son.
Information from the Florida Times-Union contributed to this article.
The following is the transcription of the phone conversations between Dailey and her son. It is not clear on what day these calls were made only that it was shortly after his arrest on Feb. 11.
Listen to both audio tapes of Harrell's phone conversation by clicking on this story in the online edition at meridianstar.com.