Habitual Offender sentenced to Life without Parole

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2009
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Jerry Lamar Whitlock, a habitual offender, was sentenced to life without parole for attempted automobile burglary. The sentence was imposed after Whitlock was found guilty following his May trial.

Guest stated, “Jerry Whitlock is a career criminal who has previously been convicted of rape, burglary, aggravated assault and robbery in Harrison County. He is an extremely dangerous individual who would have continued committing crimes as long as he walked our streets.”

Guest added, “Whitlock was found guilty by a jury and was sentenced as a violent habitual offender. The habitual offender statue was designed to remove dangerous individuals with multiple convictions, like Whitlock, from our society. Based upon Whitlock’s prior criminal convictions he will now spend the remainder of his life behind bars.”

On August 5, 2005, the victim was leaving Bankplus with two bank bags when Whitlock and his co-defendant pulled up next to her car. The victim noticed Whitlock approaching her as she entered her vehicle and she locked the doors to prevent Whitlock from getting into her car. Whitlock attempted to open the car door and was screaming at the victim to unlock the door. The victim pushed the panic button on her remote key device to draw the attention of other bank patrons.

Whitlock jumped back into his car and left the parking lot with his co-defendant. The victim ran back into the bank and called 911. Law enforcement responded to the scene within minutes and distributed a bulletin with a description of the gold Grand Am and the license plate number of the vehicle that had been provided by the victim.

A Mississippi highway patrolman heard the bulletin, recognized the car and confirmed the license tag number as the one identified in the crime.

When the patrolman pulled the vehicle over both suspects jumped out of the car and ran. Whitlock went to a house and asked to use the phone. The homeowner refused Whitlock entrance. Whitlock was arrested outside the residence by a Rankin County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Later that day, the victim positively identified Whitlock as the person who attempted to rob her at the bank. Whitlock’s co-defendant, who was also arrested, confirmed that Whitlock was the person who attempted to rob the victim.

Guest concluded, “I am very proud of all the law enforcement officials who were involved in this case. Due to the work of the Flowood Police Department, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Jerry Whitlock was arrested within minutes of committing his crime. Their quick response has helped remove a habitual offender from our streets and has made our community a safer place to raise our families.”