Knoxville Man Receives 45-Year Sentence for Robberies and Carjacking

DeShawn Whited was sentenced to 546 months in prison for multiple crimes.
Public Safety

In Knoxville, Tennessee, DeShawn Whited, a 26-year-old resident, has been sentenced to 546 months, or 45 and a half years, in prison. This sentence was handed down by the Honorable Katherine A. Crytzer, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, for a series of armed robberies and an armed carjacking committed in January 2021. Following his prison term, Whited will undergo five years of supervised release.

On January 18, 2023, Whited was convicted on several charges including four counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of Attempted Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of carjacking, four counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. The convictions arose from a spree of violent crimes where Whited, disguising his identity with a hoodie and bandana, targeted multiple establishments in Knoxville. These included the EZ Stop at 8605 Walbrook Drive, Waffle House at 6230 Papermill Drive, Pilot Food Mart at 410 Merchants Drive, Wendy’s at 4407 Western Avenue, and Pilot Travel Center at 314 Lovell Road. Additionally, Whited was found guilty of committing an armed carjacking near downtown Knoxville.

Evidence at the trial included testimonies from the victims, surveillance video, and cellphone location data, helping to secure Whited’s conviction. The case was brought to attention by U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee and FBI Special Agent Joseph E. Carrico.

The investigation leading to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Whited was a collaborative effort involving the FBI Knoxville Division, Knoxville Police Department, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan S. Kirk and Brent N. Jones represented the prosecution.

This case falls under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, a nationwide program aimed at reducing violent crime and gun violence while making neighborhoods safer through collaborative law enforcement and community efforts. The program emphasizes building trust, supporting violence prevention organizations, strategic enforcement priorities, and outcome measurement.

Source: Read Original Release