Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced this afternoon that three Atlanta men who in 2016 stole a car in Smyrna with a baby inside were sentenced to prison Friday in Cobb County Superior Court by Judge Robert Leonard.
Patrick Watson, Marquise Barnes, and Lamarcus Jackson had pleaded guilty to charges of carjacking, kidnapping and other charges.
Watson was sentenced to life, with the first 25 years to be served in confinement and the balance on probation.
Barnes and Jackson also received life sentences, with Barnes to serve 17 years in custody and Jackson to 15 years. Of two additional codefendants, one was a juvenile and the other was sentenced as a first offender.
The public information release from Kim Isaza of the DA’s office described the incident leading to the convictions as follows:
On the evening of Sept. 6, 2016, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a baby inside was stolen from the QuikTrip on South Cobb Drive at Cumberland Parkway in Smyrna. The owner of the Jeep was pumping gas when the suspect slid into his vehicle and drove off with the owner’s eight-month-old baby inside. Smyrna Police Officers spotted the stolen Jeep, and a high-speed chase ensued. The chase ended when the Jeep crashed into a tree — causing the infant’s car seat to dislodge from its base. Officers located the infant still strapped in her car seat, which was upside down and wedged behind the driver’s seat. Miraculously, the baby girl was not seriously injured. The driver fled the scene on foot.
During the investigation, officers discovered that the suspect was working with four other individuals and that the carjacking from the QuikTrip was the culmination of a crime spree that started earlier that day. Officers learned that the suspects had stolen a Toyota Camry in DeKalb County and driven it to Cobb County. While in Cobb, they noticed a woman driving a Mercedes E350 from Kroger and followed her home. One of the suspects ran up to the woman, pointed a black handgun at her, and demanded her keys. The woman gave up her keys, but the suspect was unable to start the car so he ran back to the stolen Camry with the woman’s car keys, and the five perpetrators fled the scene.
About 20 minutes later, they arrived at the QuikTrip in Smyrna. Surveillance video showed the stolen Camry pull up next to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, at which time a passenger exited the Camry and slid into the Jeep. Both the stolen Camry and Jeep fled the parking lot. The stolen Camry was also involved in the chase. As the Jeep crashed, the Camry came to a stop nearby and its occupants likewise fled.
Two occupants of the stolen Camry, Marquise Barnes and Lamarcus Jackson, were apprehended shortly thereafter, and two more were arrested weeks later. Patrick Watson, the driver of the stolen Jeep and the gunman in the armed robbery of the Mercedes owner, was not identified until fall 2018.
“As parents, our job is to protect our children. In one split second, these defendants took that ability away from a father and caused him so much pain as he could only chase his own vehicle as his infant was being taken away. Nothing will erase this nightmare … nothing,” said Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green.