Sunday, March 19, 2023

Judge Orders Demolition of Interstate Eyesore

 Jackson Municipal Court Judge Jeff Reynolds ordered the demolition of the Hotel O on I-55 N frontage road Friday.  

Noah Muthana owns Hotel O on 4639 I-55 N frontage road in Jackson.  Hinds County property tax records state he has owned the hotel for two years.  

Jackson cited Muthana for six code violations in June 2022.  Jackson Municipal Court Judge Jeff Reynolds adjudicated the case on December 16.  He said the hotel had unsafe electrical wiring, the roof was in a serious state of disrepair, defective plumbing, pervasive mold, and structural weaknesses.  Residency-challenged individuals occupied the building even though there was no power.  However, one should never underestimate human ingenuity, even among the residency-challenged.  The squatters simply ran extension cords to outlets on adjacent properties.  The Court said some cords were in contact with water.  A detective testified Muthana had three employees who lived on the property.  

The Court said Muthana made no effort to improve the property.  If anything, the property was "worse today than it was in November 2021, when the city first began investigating the property." 

Muthana faced the wrath of Reynolds and went to jail Tuesday after the Court found Muthana made no effort to improve the property.  If anything, the property was "worse today than it was in November 2021, when the city first began investigating the property.  Apparently, Muthana's financial backer was more than happy to let him sit in jail.  

Judge Reynolds revisited the case on Friday and modified his order.  The Court decreed: 

This Order is supplemental to the court’s prior orders in this case, beginning with my Order and Verdict of December 16, 2022. 

1. This court has previously found that the Hotel O is an extreme danger both to the people improperly living there and to other citizens, particularly children, who may wander onto the property. These dangerous conditions are set out in detail in my 12/16/22 Order.

2. On February 23, 2023, I ordered at a hearing in open court that the defendant, in one week, go through the City’s site plan review process and erect a proper fence around the unenclosed pool, which is currently a hole in the ground with no water in it, to help prevent somebody from falling into the hole.

At this point, the defendant had blown off his 45 day deadline to submit a plan to site planning review to properly refurbish the entire hotel to bring it to within code. Over the objection of City, I extended the deadlines in my 12/16/22 Order and specifically gave the defendant 45 more days to go through site planning review, after hearing repeated assurances from the defendant and his close associate and financial backer, Mr. Ebraham, that they were diligently working to rehab the Hotel. I also reiterated that all deadlines going forward had to be met, including the one week fence deadline. 

3. On March 14, 2023, I held a status conference in this case  and was quite disturbed to learn the following:

a.) The defendant did nothing within my 7 day deadline. A day or so before March 14, he himself, with two helpers, erected a fence around the pool. He did not go through site planning review as I explicitly ordered.

b.) The defendant admitted in court that people are still living as the Hotel O, despite the fact that the Fire Marshall shut it down over a year ago because it is an extreme fire hazard. 

c.) Moreover, just as I found on 12/16/22, electrical extension cords are still running at the Hotel O, apparently being used by people improperly living there to pirate electricity from nearby properties that have power. 

4. On 12/16/22, I imposed a 90 day suspended sentence on the defendant, conditioned on his compliance with the orders of the court. After determining on 3/14/23 that the defendant had not complied with this court’s explicit orders, I ordered him incarcerated until he or his representative, Mr. Ebraham, properly goes through site plan review for the fence around the pool, removes all people living in the Hotel from the property, and cuts/discards all electrical extension cords running on the property. I determined that there existed present and immediate dangers at the hotel that needed to be remedied now. 

5. Late yesterday afternoon, more than 48 hours after I incarcerated the defendant, I learned that he is still in jail and not one thing I ordered to be done has been done at the Hotel or regarding the Hotel. Mr. Ebraham is allowing the defendant, whom he said in court he loved, to languish in jail.


1. The Hotel O presents a present and immediate danger to people on the premises and near the premises. 

2. The defendant has 60 days to both submit a plan to properly demolish the Hotel down to the slab and actually demolish it.

3. I sentence the defendant to the remainder of his 90 day jail term, suspended, contingent upon his following all orders of this court.

4. The defendant is to be released from the Raymond jail immediately.

5. The Jackson Police Department is to promptly remove all people improperly living at the Hotel from the Hotel grounds, forcibly, if necessary. Nobody can live there under any circumstances.

6. The Jackson Fire Department is to promptly cut and discard all electrical extension cords running on the premises of the Hotel.

7. The Jackson Fire Department and Jackson Code Enforcement are to promptly inspect the fence recently erected around the empty pool to ensure it adequately prevents people, including children, from falling into the hole. If need be, additional barriers should be placed around the pool to ensure safety. 

Bond: 1. I set the cost bond at $2,500.

2. At trial last December, Officer Brunson testified that it would cost over $200,000 to properly demolish the Hotel down to the slab. Thus, I set the secured appearance bond at $275,000. 

SO ORDERED, this the 17th day of March, 2023.


Anonymous said...

Hotel "O"?

Financial Backer?

Which 'project coordinator' get the dozer and excavator job?

Will WLBT show up?

Anonymous said...

The judge needs to quit being a real estate improver, and start filling up the Jackson jail.

Anonymous said...

Surely do wish someone with criminal law experience would explain how an individual, who does not own the property, can be jailed for the company's noncompliance.

Anonymous said...

Take it down!

Anonymous said...

The previous owner, according to the tax records, was Ibrahim & Susan Khoder out of Baton Rouge. They sold/deeded/gave (who knows) the property to Muthana two years ago. Muthana hasn't paid his taxes since becoming the owner. Could Ebrahim be the same guy as Ibrahim? Could be. Regardless, Ibrahim has a bit of a history:

Anonymous said...

Does this include the OYO next door as well?

That old motel has needed to come down for years. Didn't it used to be a Sheraton?

Anonymous said...

The hourly motel room rental outfits help spread prostitution,sex trafficking, crime and disease, perhaps in the I-55 corridor and South along Hwy 80. When will those blights be demolished?

Anonymous said...

When I read the headline I thought FINALLY the apartments on Highland Dr next to I-20! Every city has a landmark for out of town visitors to see. I guess these hotels as well as the apts. will always be Jackson's.

Anonymous said...

March 19, 2023 at 3:02 PM

This is proof that you cannot make anyone in that shithole of a town happy.

Anonymous said...

The same judgments should be applied to what remains of the Jackson Zoo.
But don't hold your breath.

And I'm only thinking about the few poor animals still out there .... ( that have to survive on West Capitol Street ).

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:02. Are you freaking kidding. What jail in Jackson are you referring to? What Jackson jail is so empty? There is NOTHING in Jackson that is working right. Nothing. And yet we find a judge that is putting the pressure on these deteriorating properties that house nothing but problems and corruption and want to be critical? Shut the hell up and and keep watching CNN.

Anonymous said...

One would assume that owners and tenants of adjacent properties, would unplug those extension cords - or turn off those particular outlets at their breaker boxes. Could there be COMPLICITY in this - as in maybe the prostitution/trafficking/drugs happening at "O" could be maybe profiting the owners and tenants of adjacent properties? Who owns the properties from which those extension cords are being run?

Anonymous said...

Will Socrates get the demolition contract? Richard's?

Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Hizonner that it's never a good idea to 'cut extension cords', as ordered, especially those in contact with water.

I'm relatively certain the 'fire department' will ignore the order to 'cut' them and will probably just unplug and remove them.

The judge's order for the PoPo to remove (forcibly if necessary) the residentially challenged lodgers, makes no mention of what to do with them, once removed. One can assume they will be transported to and released in The Fondren. Is the 'pink building' available?

Anonymous said...

Gosh...only in Mississippi would ordering the demolition and/or seizure of deteriorating and unsafe buildings and property be news.
The rest of the world understands that the property owners nearby should not have the value of their property reduced or pay of their pockets to protect their property from "collateral damage" because of one nutcase neighbor.
The owner has had every opportunity to " do the right thing" and hasn't. NO sympathy here for a jackass.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 11:00PM, I think that fire departments and utility guys have special insulated clippers for cutting live wires (Friends at Home, don't try this!). And they're wearing protective equipment, in addition to the special clippers. Destroying those pricey extension cords (the ones for our mowers and hedge clippers, cost us upward of 100 Dollars) may actually be better than just unplugging them. But I'm still waiting for someone to explain why the people paying electric bills for neighboring properties, aren't disconnecting/destroying those extension cords.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean I can't hang out at the Exquisite bar no mo'?

Anonymous said...

When will a judge order the demolition of the eyesore called Union Station. The windows have been boarded up for years.

Anonymous said...

So, who PAYS for this demo? Obliviously, that owner will not.

Anonymous said...

Don’t demo it, the Republic of Jackson gonna need it to accommodate all the new citizenry it’s gonna attract with it’s everything is free’ policies.

Anonymous said...

Y'all act like the neighboring properties are The Rogue and Maison Wiess.

I am guessing they are slightly less un-livable shit holes, since they do offer electricity.

Therefore they gladly extort the filth that lives next door for drug or sex trades in return for a few extra cords being plugged in.

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