Habitual Offender Receives a 20-Year Sentence for Stealing a Car and Possessing a Firearm

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2011
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Terry Wales received a 20-year sentence, through a plea agreement, for stealing a car and possessing a firearm by a convicted felon. He will serve the full 20 years behind bars, as Wales is a habitual offender.

Guest stated, “Wales is a life-long criminal who has been arrested and convicted for numerous crimes, including, armed robbery, house burglary, business burglary, possession of burglary tools and simple assault of a law enforcement agent. Because of the action of law enforcement, Wales will now spend the next 20 years in jail with no chance of probation and no chance of parole. His repeated criminal acts have landed him exactly where he should be – behind bars.”

On September 19, 2010, the owner of the vehicle woke to find an unidentified male driving her 2004 Lexus out of the driveway. She and some of her friends called the police and informed them that they were going to attempt to follow the thief in another vehicle. They were able to follow the vehicle long enough to give police the direction of travel, and law enforcement observed the vehicle speeding south on Highway 51, where they pulled Wales over.

Officers noticed that Wales was moving inside of the car, and it appeared to the officer that he was attempting to conceal something. Officers approached the vehicle, and after several attempts, were able to remove Wales from the stolen vehicle. When officers searched the vehicle they found a ski mask, flash light, gloves and a loaded 9mm pistol.

Guest stated, “The actions of the victim along with the timely response of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Canton Police Department cumulated in the arrest and conviction of a man who had more than a half dozen criminal convictions. This case highlights how the criminal justice system can serve the citizens of Madison County when prosecutors, law enforcement and, in this case, the victims of crime work together.”