June 9, 2009
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Walter Tard, who was convicted by a jury in May for the armed robbery of the Drury Inn in Ridgeland, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in Madison County Circuit Court. Ten years will be suspended.
Guest stated, “Walter Tard will now spend most of the rest of his life in prison because he chose to use a handgun to steal – placing the lives of innocent people in danger. This case illustrates how the criminal justice system works to remove violent criminals from our streets.”
Guest concluded, “This case was solved as the result of a joint investigation between the Ridgeland Police Department and the Jackson Police Department. I am so very proud of the outstanding job they did working together. Because of their efforts, a jury was able to find Tard guilty and the citizens of Madison and Hinds Counties are now safer.”
On January 5, 2007, the Ridgeland Police Department responded to the Drury Inn regarding a man entering the lobby, where he approached the clerk and first asked for the restroom, but then passed the desk clerk a note demanding $5,000 in $100 and $20 bills. Tard then raised his shirt and the clerk observed that he had a gun. The clerk responded that she did not have that much money and Tard demanded that she give him what she had. Tard stole $92.
The clerk immediately contacted the police and she was able to provide law enforcement officials with a general description of Tard and gave them the note that Tard handed her during the robbery. That note was an important piece of evidence, as Tard had written it on the bottom half of a job application to an auto parts store.
Law enforcement then went to the store whose application had been used as the robbery note and developed several individuals including, Tard, as possible suspects. During the investigation, it was discovered that the Jackson Police Department had Tard in jail for the armed robbery of a hotel in Jackson.
The Ridgeland Police Department retrieved the Jackson booking photo and used it in a photo lineup. Tard was identified by the victim as the person who robbed the Drury Inn. At trial the victim again identified Tard as the individual who robbed her.