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Press Release

Joshua Hayworth Sentenced To More Than 16 Years In Prison For Hobbs Act Robbery And Carjacking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Joshua Hayworth, 25, of Loudon, Tenn., was sentenced on March 10, 2016, by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, U.S. District Court Chief Judge, to serve 200 months in federal prison. 

After a jury trial in July 2015, Hayworth was convicted of a Hobbs Act robbery at the Burger King located on Simpson Road in Lenoir City, Tenn., which occurred on Jan. 30, 2014, and a carjacking in Knoxville, Tenn., which occurred on Feb. 3, 2014.  The trial evidence showed that during the Burger King robbery, Hayworth brandished an airsoft pistol and, while pointing the pistol at the employees, ordered them to fill up a bag with money from the safe.  His co-defendant, Timothy Chudley, was employed at the Burger King and, unbeknownst to his co-workers, was in on the robbery.  During the commission of the robbery, Hayworth hit Chudley in the head with his pistol, causing Chudley to bleed.  Hayworth fled the Burger King in a vehicle that he wrecked less than one mile from the Burger King.  He left the accident scene before law enforcement arrived, but the trial evidence revealed that the vehicle contained: the pistol used during the robbery; the robber’s mask, which contained Hayworth’s DNA; Hayworth’s identification card; and prescription medication in Hayworth’s name.  Cash from the robbery was also recovered from within the wrecked vehicle and all over the highway.  Finally, Hayworth’s cellular telephone, which contained text messages to and from Chudley that showed their planning of the robbery, was also recovered. 

Although law enforcement searched for Hayworth, he was not found on the night of the Burger King robbery.  Trial evidence revealed that four days after the Burger King robbery, Hayworth carjacked a pregnant woman in Knoxville, Tenn., who was less than one week away from delivering her baby.  After he violently wrestled the keys away from her, the pregnant victim had to endure an agonizing wait for an ambulance as she feared that her full-term baby, who was not moving, was dead.  Upon arriving at the hospital, it was discovered that the baby was, in fact, healthy. 

Agencies involved in this investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Safe Streets Task Force, which is made up of agents with the FBI and officers from the Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office; Knoxville Police Department; Knox County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit; Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, and Lenoir City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly A. Norris and Cynthia F. Davidson represented the United States.                                                  


Updated March 10, 2016

Violent Crime