February 11, 2015

Jefferson County Gunman Sentenced to 43 Years for Beaumont Carjackings

BEAUMONT, TX—A 23-year-old Beaumont man has been sentenced to over 43 years in federal prison for his role in an armed carjacking spree in April 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Timothy Wayne Harris, Jr. a/k/a “J” was found guilty by a jury on Mar. 26, 2014, of conspiracy to commit carjacking, two counts of motor vehicle theft, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Harris was sentenced to 522 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

According to information presented in court, on April 17-18, 2012, Harris and Jerry Lee Edwards, 38, went on a crime spree outside a Beaumont restaurant and convenience store, Carl’s Jr. and the Calder Food Mart. On May 2, 2012, a federal grand jury indicted Harris and Edwards and charged them with two counts of carjacking, two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking. The case was delayed for 17 months by psychiatric examinations of Harris, who was the gunman and leader of the offenses. In late 2013, Harris was determined to be competent to stand trial.

Edwards pleaded guilty before trial to conspiracy to commit carjacking, admitting that he knowingly joined in the crimes, and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison on Oct. 24, 2014.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Time Machine Initiative. Time Machine is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The case was investigated by the Beaumont Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.