Former Forrest County election commissioner released on bondBy HASKEL BURNS,
Tyler Wood, the former Forrest County election commissioner who was arrested in Greene County after going missing with his 16-year-old girlfriend for almost two weeks, has been released from the Greene County Jail on a $2,500 bond.
According to the Facebook page of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Wood, a Hattiesburg native, posted bail early Wednesday morning.
Greene County Chief Deputy Brad Warrick said 20-year-old Wood turned himself in Sunday and was booked into the Greene County Jail on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor with a $2,500 bond. Wood contacted Warrick Saturday morning from a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, where he was staying with his girlfriend, Veronica Platt.
“I talked him into doing the right thing and coming back to Greene County and turning himself in and giving over custody of the minor,” Warrick said. “So he basically left around lunch time Saturday … and he arrived at the Greene County Jail at around 6:45 Sunday morning and turned himself in.
“So he did cooperate with us and turned himself in after making contact with him.”
As of Monday, Wood was still in custody awaiting bond.
Warrick said although Platt was not being held against her will, Wood’s actions were illegal because Platt is still under the age of 18.
“He’ll be 21 in a few days, and she’s still a minor,” Warrick said. “Basically, anything you do with a minor that makes them delinquent in any way, you can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“So by him taking her away without the parents’ permission, that pretty much made him to where he was liable to that charge. You can consent to sex at 16, but that doesn’t mean you’re still not a minor. You can’t be charged with statutory rape and things like that – you’re old enough to consent to sex – but you’re still a minor until you’re 18.”
Wood – who was elected in 2016 as District 1 Election Commissioner when he was 18 years old – was last seen with Platt Dec. 26 when the couple allegedly attended Christmas dinner with Wood’s mother, Anne Wood-Clark. After the couple left, Wood-Clark reported $2,500 missing from her home.
Wood resigned less than a year after being elected and was involved in a couple of controversial issues during his time in office, including being asked to leave an executive session of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors after being discovered recording the meeting. He later alleged that attempts were being made on his life by unidentified people in the county, in particular one incident in which he said his truck had been tampered with in order to cause a fatal wreck.