Harris convicted in 2012 crime spree
A 22-year-old Beaumont man has been convicted of multiple crimes related to 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. aka “J” was found guilty by a jury following a three-day trial before 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 men have been detained since their arrests on April 24, 2012. The case was delayed for 17 months by psychiatric examinations of Harris, who was the gunman and leader of the offenses. Late last year, Harris was determined to be competent to stand trialThe jury today convicted Harris of all five counts. Harris faces a sentence of between 50 years and life in federal prison. Edwards pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit carjacking, admitting that he knowingly joined in the crimes. Edwards faces up to 5 years in federal prison. Sentencing dates have not been set.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 and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Cockrell.