Crime

York Co. dad who asked judge for mercy after he left kids in truck is back in jail

York Co. man asks judge for mercy after leaving 4 kids in truck

In this Sept. 2, 2016 file video, Jason Ray Grant of York County appeared in court on alleged probation violations. Grant told a judge he has never used meth despite his confession that he used meth, cocaine and marijuana. He received probation in
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In this Sept. 2, 2016 file video, Jason Ray Grant of York County appeared in court on alleged probation violations. Grant told a judge he has never used meth despite his confession that he used meth, cocaine and marijuana. He received probation in

A York County father who received probation after he left his kids in a truck with a gun while he was in a store bathroom stall with drugs just got out of county prison and has been arrested for testing positive for cocaine.

Jason Ray Grant’s four children are “terrified of him,” according to court records, after he left them in the vehicle at a street corner in the middle of the night while he was in a public toilet where drugs were found.

After the positive cocaine test, the third in four months, Grant is now looking at 10 years in prison, if convicted.

It all came after: Grant’s wife divorced him, court records show; and after his $378,000 house was foreclosed on for failure to pay the mortgage; and after he failed to pay more than $2,200 in child support; and after a judge called his life “habitual intoxication” from drugs.

Grant has claimed in court proceedings that he is straight, and that he left his four children and hung out in a toilet for four hours because he was tired. He has said that repeated positive drug tests are false.

Probation officials said Grant is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 28, a year to the day after he left his kids in the truck while he was in a public bathroom. The children shivered under blankets in the cold truck.

Grant, 39, has repeatedly claimed not to be a drug abuser despite positive drug tests, judicial orders stating that he is a habitual drug user and more. He will face a judge on charges of failing to stay straight while on probation.

Probation officials arrested Grant after he allegedly tested positive for cocaine, and failed to give agents a valid address, said Pete O’Boyle, spokesman for the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.

Grant, a former youth wrestling coach in Fort Mill, was denied bond late Thursday. Thursday’s arrest comes days after Grant’s divorce was finalized and a Family Court judge ruled that Grant would not get custody of his four children because of “habitual intoxication” from drugs, court records show.

Grant’s journey in the past year has taken him through two courts and several run-ins with the law.

On the day after Thanksgiving 2015, Grant left his children, ages 5, 7, 11 and 13, in his truck while he was in a stall at a Rock Hill gas station for four hours, according to court testimony.

Police found drugs in the stall and Grant in June pleaded guilty to four felony counts of child neglect. A gun and ammunition also were in the truck. One child soiled himself and was left without clothes.

Grant never came outside to check on the children and a store clerk called police. Prosecutors asked for prison time, saying it was only luck that the children were not harmed.

But Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III ruled that because Grant had no prior record, except that he went through drug treatment court in 2007, that Grant receive probation.

Hayes suspended a 10-year sentence.

Despite Grant owning a home worth almost $400,000 at the time, Grant qualified for a public defender after his first arrest through his June sentencing.

Just two weeks later, probation agents charged Grant with violations including cocaine use, failing a drug test and more. Grant got out of jail on $50,000 bond, and was arrested again in August on charges that he failed to refrain from drug use and other charges. He then got out on a $80,000 bond.

On Sept. 2, Judge Dan Hall sentenced Grant to 90 days in the county prison in another hearing where Grant claimed that he had falsely confessed to using meth, cocaine and marijuana.

“They had me so nervous I was going to jail; I don’t want to go to jail,” Grant said in court, when he also claimed to “always be honest” and a “tough guy” who is “not a rule breaker.”

In that hearing, Hall warned Grant that Grant had no more chances – that the next time Grant appeared in court, the consequences would likely be severe.

On Oct. 6, court records show, Grant was taken from the York County prison to a hearing with Family Court Judge Tony Jones. Jones gave Grant’s wife a divorce and full custody of the four children because he said Grant was guilty of “habitual intoxication” from drugs.

Grant, who owed at least $2,292 in back child support, was ordered to have drug treatment or he would never have visitation with his children, Jones ruled.

Grant’s wife told the Family Court that Grant had a “drug and alcohol problem,” and that the children are “terrified of him” since the 2015 incident where they were left in the bathroom

Grant got out of the York County prison on early release from the 90-day sentence on Oct. 7. He was out of jail until Thursday when probation agents charged him again.

Kyle Hobbs, Grant’s lawyer in the Sept. 2. court hearing, said he was not aware that Grant had been arrested again but as of Friday afternoon had not been retained. Hobbs declined further comment.

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