Skip to main content
Press Release

Pensacola Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Prison for Carjacking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

MOBILE, AL – A Pensacola, Florida man was sentenced to 150 months in prison for a carjacking in Baldwin County.

According to court documents, Billy Joe Burns, 34, was arrested by deputies with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office on July 12, 2022, after he carjacked a woman in Miflin, Alabama, and led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Gulf Shores. Deputies initially encountered Burns as he fled from the scene of an alleged assault at a gas station in Foley. In the course of fleeing from that scene, Burns wrecked the car that he was driving in the front yard of a house on County Road 83. Burns got out of the wrecked car, jumped a fence, and fled into nearby woods toward County Road 20 in Miflin.

As a nearby resident rounded the corner on County Road 20 in a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan, Burns emerged from the woods and carjacked her. Armed with a broken piece of cinder block, Burns threatened the victim, reached into her open window, unlocked the door, and pulled her from the van. He then took off in the stolen van on County Road 20. Deputies pursued Burns in the stolen van for several miles down the Foley Beach Express. Burns eventually wrecked the van into a bystander truck on County Road 8 in Gulf Shores. The truck was occupied by a couple and their two-year-old child. Both the stolen van and the truck were totaled. Burns attempted to flee into a nearby field but deputies caught up to him and took him into custody.

Senior United States District Judge William H. Steele ordered Burns to serve 150 months’ imprisonment and a three-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment, will receive mental health evaluation and treatment, and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Steele ordered Burns to pay $25,018.41 in victim restitution and $100 in special assessments.

U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated March 22, 2023