Crime

Jury hands down verdict in 20 minutes for habitual offender

Christopher Joiner
Christopher Joiner

It took a jury just over 20 minutes of deliberation to sentence a habitual offender to three counts of life in prison in a Pascagoula armed robbery case.

Assistant District Attorney Cherie Wade said Christopher Allen Joiner, 35, of Pascagoula was sentenced in Circuit Court on Tuesday after he was found guilty on three counts of armed robbery. During Joiner’s sentencing hearing immediately after the verdict was handed down, Wade said Joiner had seven prior felony convictions in Jackson County.

Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey ordered Joiner’s second and third life sentences to run consecutively to the first life sentence in count one of armed robbery, Wade said.

Joiner, along with co-defendant Randal Alan Williams, went into a home on 11th Street on Jan. 26, 2015, and demanded property from three victims while showing firearms, Wade said.

“This defendant armed himself with a firearm and disguised his face before entering the victims’ home,” Wade said. “He created a dangerous and terrifying situation that night, as he ransacked the victims’ home and threatened to kill them.”

After Joiner robbed the three victims, Wade said, he led police on a 10-minute pursuit in a residential area in Pascagoula. At some point during the pursuit, Wade said Joiner was driving over 90 mph.

“This defendant had seven prior felony convictions from this county, spanning more than a decade,” said District Attorney Tony Lawrence. “He has continued to violate the laws of this state and has shown no respect for authority or the sanctity of other citizens’ homes and businesses.”

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @Journalism_J

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