Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced Thursday that Karmello Gaines, Ti”Jerrical Thornton and Deterrious Williams have each been sentenced for their roles in a carjacking crime spree that spanned multiple towns last year.
On August 29, 2021 Ridgeland Police Department responded to a carjacking at a gas station on Lake Harbor Drive.
The victim, an employee at the gas station, stated two masked men with guns forced her away from her car and stole it. The two men were followed out of the gas station by another vehicle driven by a female. Using the location data from the victim’s phone, officers were able to track the stolen car to Clinton.
While in Clinton, the trio carjacked another car and went back to Ridgeland. They carjacked a third victim at the Residence Inn and led officers on a highspeed chase into Jackson where officers lost sight of them.
That same night, the group carjacked and fired shots at a fourth victim in Terry as well as carjacking a fifth car in Byram.
Through a multi-jurisdictional operation, officers identified the main gunman as 16-year-old Karmello Gaines. He was accompanied each time by 15-year-old Deterrious Williams, and 17-year-old Ti’Jerrical Thornton.
Officers were able to confirm the shell casings from where the gunman fired shots at the Terry carjacking victim were from the same gun found on Gaines at the time of his arrest.
All evidence indicated that Williams was responsible for driving the stolen cars from each crime scene, and Thornton drove the two men to the carjackings so that they could leave in a newly stolen car.
All three individuals pled guilty to two counts of armed carjacking for the acts occurring in Madison County.
Both Williams and Thornton pled early in the prosecution and agreed to testify against Gaines if necessary.
Williams was sentenced to 17 years in custody. Thornton was sentenced to ten years to serve. Gaines, who originally elected to go to trial, but later pled guilty in front of Judge Dewey Arthur was sentenced to thirty years to serve for his role as the ringleader of the criminal enterprise.
District Attorney Bramlett stated
“These three teenagers came into Madison County, not once but twice, with the sole intent of carjacking innocent people at gun point. They then went and terrorized the citizens of Clinton, Terry, and Byram. We are so grateful that the various police departments were able to work together quickly and effectively to quickly capture them and prevent anyone from getting seriously hurt. Armed carjackings, armed robberies, or any other crimes perpetrated with the use of gun will not be tolerated in Madison and Rankin Counties. Please be aware of this… our office will continue to send offenders to prison for lengthy sentences, no matter their age, for violent offenses such as these.”