COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Three Atlanta men have been sentenced to prison for carjacking a vehicle with a baby inside in 2016.
Friday, A Cobb County Superior Court judge sentenced Patrick Watson, Marquis Barnes, and Lamarcus Jackson. All three men had previously pleaded guilty to hijacking a motor vehicle, kidnapping a child, and other charges.
The arrest stems from an incident on the night of Sept. 6, 2016, when the owner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee was pumping gas at a QuikTrip on South Cobb Drive.
While the victim was fueling up the vehicle, officials say Watson snuck into the car and drove off. The victim's 8-month old baby was still inside.
After a search, police spotted the stolen Jeep and began a chase, which ended when the Jeep crashed into a tree. The force of the impact dislodged the baby's car seat. She was found upside down still strapped in the seat. Thankfully, the infant was not seriously injured.
“As parents, our job is to protect our children. In one split second, these defendants took that ability away from a father and caused him so much pain as he could only chase his own vehicle as his infant was being taken away. Nothing will erase this nightmare ... nothing,” said Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green,
In their investigation, officers say they learned that the theft of the Jeep was part of a crime spree that began when a Toyota Camry was stolen earlier in the day in DeKalb County. The spree continued that night when police say Watson, Barnes, Jackson, and two others followed a woman driving a Mercedes from Kroger to her home. As she parked, officials say Watson ran up to her, pointed a gun at her, and demanded the keys. He was unable to start the Mercedes however and fled.
Twenty minutes after the attempted Mercedes theft, the thieves pulled into the QuikTrip and stole the Jeep.
That night, police arrested Barnes and Jackson. Watson was identified and arrested two years later.
Watson was sentenced to life with 25 years in prison and the rest on probation. Barnes and Jackson also received life sentences with 17 and 15 years in prison respectively.
The two other suspects, who have not been identified, are described as a juvenile and a first-time offender.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.