BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Mississippi man who took part in carjacking a pregnant woman and her children in Moody last year has been found guilty by a federal jury, Alabama U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona reports.

Following a two-day trial, a jury found Eric Lamar White, 24, of Jackson, Mississippi, guilty 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,” Escalona said in a statement. “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.”

Prosecutors argued that on January 7, 2021, White and Kendarian Toran were traveling from Jackson, Mississippi, to Atlanta, Georgia, in a stolen vehicle with a switched tag. After the vehicle began to overheat, White and Toran decided to carjack a woman driving a 2008 Acura TL while she was with her two children, pumping gas at a nearby station. While carrying a gun, Toran stole the victim’s car while her children were in the backseat, but the victim attempted to stop Toran by jumping into the driver’s seat on top of Toran, who put the gun to the her pregnant stomach, told her to get her kids out of the car, and quickly drove off in the car after the last child was out. 

White and Toran then reportedly met at a nearby business parking lot, where White abandoned the original stolen vehicle and got into the stolen Acura with Toran. Hours later, White was driving the Acura back to Mississippi with Toran when police officers spotted them. A police pursuit then ensued for 29 miles along I-20, ending when officers forced the stolen vehicle into the median. When White was arrested, he had a Glock .45 caliber pistol and an Alabama driver’s license belonging to a person matching the description of the victim.

On Aug. 25, Toran was sentenced to 114 months in prison for carjacking and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and relation to a violent crime. He had previously 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.