For Immediate Release
Selma Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years for Armed Carjacking
United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama, announces that Rayford D. Mitchell of Selma, Alabama was sentenced to federal prison on two charges—carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charges in July of 2019.
U.S. Attorney Moore said, “The commitment that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners have with Selma is to remove violent criminals like this defendant from the community. This predator posed a danger to law abiding citizens in Selma who deserve to be protected from marauding criminals terrorizing the community. We will not tolerate this type of criminal behavior in Selma, Alabama or anywhere else in the Southern District of Alabama. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute the worst of the worst in Selma who may not have gotten the message that Selma, Alabama is no longer safe for criminals.
This case is one of many that represents the work of Weed and Seed in Selma that is focusing on violent crime by combining the resources of all of our law enforcement partners in the northern part of our district. The citizens of Selma are fed up with violent criminals terrorizing their town and they are taking back their City one block at a time. We are committed to empowering citizens to work with law enforcement to keep their communities safe.”
According to documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, at approximately 8:50 pm on February 5, 2019, the victim pulled over to the side of the road in Valley Grande, Alabama, so she could reply to a text message from her husband. Mitchell and his co-defendants, Timical Hall and Tyre J. Webster, pulled up behind the victim in a stolen Nissan Altima. The three men exited the Nissan and approached the victim’s vehicle. Mitchell and Hall each wore masks and were armed with loaded firearms. Mitchell approached the driver’s side where the victim was sitting with her window cracked, pointed a gun to the victim’s temple, and ordered her to open the door “before I blow your [expletive] brains out.” Mitchell repeatedly poked the victim in her shoulder with the barrel of the gun. As she opened the door, Mitchell reached into the vehicle, grabbed the victim, and threw her down on the concrete. Simultaneously, Hall approached the front passenger’s side of the vehicle and beat on the glass window with his gun until it shattered. Mitchell told the victim, “You better be glad I don’t want to kill a bitch tonight or you would be a dead bitch.” One of the men asked the victim for her money and she replied that it was in her wallet in the vehicle. Mitchell grabbed the victim and shoved her into the vehicle, demanding that she retrieve the wallet and give it to him. The victim complied. Hall then approached the victim, put the barrel of his firearm to her chest, and ordered her to give him her cell phone and the code for it. The victim provided the cell phone but not the code. The three men then fled the scene; Mitchell drove away in the victim’s vehicle, which had the victim’s purse inside, while Hall and Webster fled in the stolen Nissan.
Video surveillance depicts all three assailants rummaging through the victim’s purse after they parked the stolen Nissan at an apartment complex minutes after the carjacking. Law enforcement located the victim’s purse and items belonging to the victim within approximately 15 feet of that location. Later during the evening of the carjacking, police officers located the defendants in the stolen Nissan at a local convenience store. Mitchell and Hall unsuccessfully attempted to flee. Police apprehended Mitchell in possession of a .9mm pistol and located a 7.62x39 caliber, AK-style firearm in the stolen Nissan. Webster eluded capture and was arrested approximately a week later.
Senior United States District Judge Callie V.S. Granade imposed a sentence of 130 months’ imprisonment, consisting of 46 months on the carjacking charge and 84 months on the gun charge, ordering that they run consecutively. Mitchell will serve a term of 5 years on supervised release upon the completion of his sentence, during which he will undergo substance abuse treatment. Mitchell was not ordered to pay a fine, but the judge withheld an order on restitution in an amount to be determined. The court also ordered Mitchell to pay $200 in special assessments. Mitchell’s co-defendants, Hall and Webster, are scheduled for sentencing before Judge Granade in December.
The Selma, Alabama Firearms Enforcement (S.A.F.E.) Task Force investigated the case and brought it to the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The S.A.F.E. Task Force is comprised of the Selma Police Department, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the 4th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the State of Alabama Attorney General’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gina Vann and Erica Hilliard.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama at http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdal.