Jackson carjacking trio pleads guilty after night of ‘terrorizing’ citizens in multiple cities

(L) Karmello Gaines | (M) Deterrious M. Williams | (R) Ti’Jerrical Thornton
(L) Karmello Gaines | (M) Deterrious M. Williams | (R) Ti’Jerrical Thornton(District Attorney's Office)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 2:52 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A trio of teen carjackers who “terrorized” the citizens of multiple cities one August night in 2021 has pleaded guilty to the events of that evening, one being sentenced to thirty years for his role as “ringleader” of the “criminal enterprise.”

The incident happened August 29, 2021, when the Ridgeland Police Department responded to a carjacking at a gas station on Lake Harbor Drive.

The victim, an employee at the gas station, said that two masked men with guns forced her away from her car and then 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 teens 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 Karmello Gaines, who was 16 at the time. He was accompanied each time by Deterrious Williams, then 15, and Ti’Jerrical Thornton, 17.

Officers were able to confirm the shell casings from where Gaines 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 teens to the carjackings so that they could leave in a newly stolen car.

All three pled guilty to two counts of armed carjacking for the crimes that happened in Madison County. According to a press release by the District Attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties, 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 pled guilty and was sentenced to thirty years to serve for his role as the ringleader.

“These three teenagers came into Madison County, not once but twice, with the sole intent of carjacking innocent people at gun point,” stated District Attorney John Bramlett. “They then went and terrorized the citizens of Clinton, Terry, and Byram... Armed carjackings, armed robberies, or any other crimes perpetrated with the use of gun will not be tolerated in Madison and Rankin Counties.”

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