DNA evidence leads to identity, conviction of Alabama man involved in 2018 Mississippi armed robberies

Published 6:45 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

A federal jury convicted an Alabama man of two counts of robbery, two counts of using or carrying a firearm in connection with the robberies and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm

Jonathan Lewis Jennings, 31, of Anniston, Alabama, was convicted on December 12, 2022, in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

The conviction was announced by U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Jennings robbed a liquor store and a convenience store in Meridian, Mississippi, at gunpoint on January 15, 2018.

Evidence collected by the Meridian Police Department established Jennings’s identity as the perpetrator through DNA analysis. The ATF conducted further investigative measures, which confirmed Jennings’s involvement in and planning of the robberies.  Jennings is a convicted felon, and it was therefore also unlawful for him to possess the firearm he used during the robberies.

The Meridian Police Department and the ATF are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam T. Stuart and Charles W. Kirkham are prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.