'I have a problem': Man who left kids in truck asks York County judge for drug treatment
A York County judge gave Jason Ray Grant one last chance Monday to get drug-free and avoid 10 years in prison. The judge ordered Grant to get in-patient drug treatment after the father admitted he had a drug problem.
A year ago, Grant left his kids alone in a vehicle for hours while he was in a store bathroom with drugs. Monday’s ruling came after a probation agent told the judge that Grant is a “compulsive liar” who has repeatedly tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, despite being ordered to stay away from drugs.
For the first time in several court hearings since his arrest Nov. 28, 2015, where Grant denied he was a drug abuser, he admitted in court Monday that he has a problem with drugs.
“I have a problem,” Grant said in court.
Judge John C. Hayes III ordered Grant to remain in jail until an in-patient drug treatment site is found, but warned that there would be no more chances. Grant had been sentenced to 90 days in jail in September.
“If that doesn’t work, you’ll be looking at those 10 years,” Hayes told Grant.
Grant’s lawyer, 16th Circuit Assistant Public Defender Monier Abusaft, also said Grant has a drug problem. Grant also claimed Monday to be diabetic, saying the stress of a divorce and wanting to raise his kids led him to drug abuse.
Probation agent Alicia Richardson said Grant has repeatedly lied to agents, lost his house to foreclosure, and pointed out that Grant is barred from contact with his kids by Family Court order because of repeated drug use.
Grant was arrested a year ago when police found him slumped in a convenience store bathroom in Rock Hill with drugs and paraphernalia while his four children were alone in his truck where a gun and ammunition were stored.
In June, Grant, who had no prior criminal record, pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful child neglect and was sentenced to probation, despite Judge Hayes saying in June that he could not think of a more horrifying situation of what could have happened to the kids while Grant was in the store bathroom. A 10-year prison sentence was suspended because Grant had no prior record and had completed drug treatment court in 2007.