Mississippi News

Woman sentenced as accessory after the fact in Hinds County murder case

Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Mississippi

A Missouri woman was sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison for helping her co-defendant, who discharged a firearm during the commission of a robbery that killed three people.

According to court documents, Jamison Layne Townsend, age 42, and her co-defendant, Joshua Michael Garcia, went to Bill’s Coin & Jewelry on Dec. 17, 2016, to rob the business. During the robbery, Garcia shot and killed the owner and two co-workers. Townsend and Garcia emptied the display cases of watches, rings, necklaces, bracelets, coins, and other items. Later that day, they entered a pawn shop in Mobile, Alabama, and pawned five items that were stolen from Bill’s earlier that day.

On Dec. 19, 2016, a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol attempted to stop Townsend and Garcia, who were traveling in a red Dodge Charger on Interstate 24. A chase ensued and Townsend and Garcia escaped at a high rate of speed. Two days later, Townsend and Garcia were arrested in Geary County, Kansas. Officers searched the Charger and found numerous items that were stolen from Bill’s, including coins, watches, trays of jewelry, and many items that still contained the sales tags from Bill’s. Additionally, officers recovered four firearms, including a Les Baer .45 caliber handgun that was determined to be the murder weapon by the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory. Ammunition, a cell phone, and numerous items of clothing were also recovered from the Dodge Charger.

Townsend pled guilty on Sept. 18, 2023, to three counts of accessory after the fact.

Joshua Michael Garcia previously pled guilty to discharging a firearm that resulted in the murder of three persons during the commission of a robbery. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Orench of the Federal Bureau of Investigation made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Jackson Police Department with assistance from the Geary County, Kansas, Sherriff’s Department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Mississippi State Crime Laboratory, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Gulfport Police Department, and the Biloxi Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by Criminal Chief Erin Chalk.

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