Mississippi Resident Convicted of Armed Carjacking
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal jury today convicted a Mississippi resident for a carjacking that occurred in Moody, Alabama, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.
The jury returned its guilty verdict against Eric Lamar White, 24, of Jackson, Mississippi, after two days of testimony before U.S. District Court Judge Corey L. Maze. White was convicted of carjacking and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime.
“The violent acts of these defendants put the lives of an innocent family in danger,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “I am grateful for the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners in Alabama and Mississippi to apprehend these defendants, and for the work of our prosecutors to ensure that justice was served.”
“These violent offenders repeatedly displayed total disregard for human life and personal property. Carjackings and the prevalence of guns on our streets continue to plaque our communities at alarming and unacceptable rates,” SAC Watson said. “The ATF will continue to work with our state, local, and federal partners to remove violent criminals from the communities that we serve.”
According to evidence presented at trial, on January 7, 2021, White and his codefendant, Kendarian Toran, were traveling from Jackson, Mississippi, to Atlanta, Georgia, in a stolen vehicle with a switched tag. The stolen vehicle began to overheat so White and Toran decided to carjack the victim in this case while carrying a firearm. At the time of the carjacking, the victim was in her 2008 Acura TL, pumping gas with her two small children in the vehicle. White and Toran waited for the perfect opportunity to take her car. White repositioned the overheating stolen car so that Toran could easily jump out and get into the driver’s seat of the Acura with ease. Once Toran got into the driver’s seat of the victim’s vehicle, the victim attempted to stop him from taking her car by jumping into the driver’s seat on top of Toran. She did not want him to take her children and fought for them. Toran put the firearm to the victim’s pregnant belly, told her to get her kids out of the car, and quickly drove off with her 2008 Acura TL, just as the last child got out. White and Toran met at a nearby business parking lot where White abandoned the original stolen vehicle and got into the 2008 Acura TL with Toran. Hours later, White was driving the Acura back to Jackson, Mississippi, with Toran, when Mississippi law enforcement spotted them. A vehicle pursuit ensued for 29 miles on I-20 at speeds over 130 mph with multiple law enforcement officers. Officers had to spike and force the vehicle into the median on I-20. When White was arrested, he had his Glock .45 caliber pistol and an Alabama driver’s license belonging to a person matching the description of the victim. The evidence showed that the Glock .45 caliber pistol was purchased by White in October 2020.
On August 25, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Corey L. Maze sentenced Kendarian Lamonte Toran, 18, of Ridgeland, Mississippi, to 114 months in prison for carjacking and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and relation to a violent crime. Toran pleaded guilty to the charges in March.
The maximum penalty for carjacking is 15 years in prison. Brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence carries a mandatory penalty of not less than 7 years in prison.
The ATF investigated the case along with assistance from the FBI Birmingham Division, Moody Police Department and multiple Mississippi law enforcement agencies, to include Rankin County Sherriff’s Office, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, and Madison Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brittney Plyler and Kristy Peoples are prosecuting the case.
Updated December 15, 2022