May 23, 2012
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that following a two-day jury trial, Howard Doyle received a 42-year sentence for armed robbery. Five years will be suspended and Doyle will be required to serve every day of his 37-year sentence imposed by the court.
On January 29, 2011, Doyle posted that he was selling an iPhone on Craigslist. David Watson called Doyle to establish a meeting place for Watson to look at the item. Doyle provided a location in Flora for the two to meet.
Watson arrived with his two-year-old daughter to a secluded area in Flora, and was quickly approached by Doyle and two others. One of the defendants then produced a gun. Watson and the gunman struggled over the gun and as the two wrestled over the firearm it fired twice, striking the co-defendant. The defendants were able to take money, a phone and a gun the victim had in his vehicle. The victim was able to escape and then called 911 to report the crime.
Flora Police then began to contact hospitals in the area in an attempt to identify the subject that had been injured when the gun discharged. Law enforcement determined that the injured co-defendant had been taken to the Baptist Hospital to seek treatment for a gunshot wound. The injured co-defendant was later arrested, and he stated that Doyle placed the fictitious ad on Craigslist.
Guest stated, “The evidence presented to the jury in this case left no doubt as to the guilt of Howard Doyle. In addition, to the two co-defendants who testified that Doyle was the mastermind behind this dangerous event we also have cell phone records that show incoming and outgoing calls between Doyle and the victim. The victim and his child were very fortunate that they were able to escape without injury.”
Guest continued, “It is common to use websites like Craigslist to buy and sell items, but please do not be led to a location where your safety is placed at risk. Always meet at a well-populated and lit area to make the transaction. Safety should always be our number one issue.”
Guest concluded, “This case was solved because of the hard work of the Flora Police Department. I want to personally thank Chief Judy Tucker and Officer Clifton Nelson for their efforts in bringing Doyle to justice.”