Pensacola man sentenced to 12½ years for Baldwin County carjacking

This image from the body camera of a Baldwin County sheriff's deputy shows Billy Joe Burns...
This image from the body camera of a Baldwin County sheriff's deputy shows Billy Joe Burns after law enforcement officers apprehended him on July 12, 2022, in Gulf Shores, Alabama.(U.S. District Court)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 7:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a Pensacola man to 12½ years in prison for a carjacking that was sandwiched in between two separate car chases.

Billy Joe Burns, 34, pleaded guilty in December to the federal offense.

According to court records, Baldwin County sheriff’s deputies responded on July 12 to a 911 call about an assault at a Chevron gas station in Foley. Burns got into a fight with the ex-husband of a woman he was with before he and the woman led deputies on a chase, according to the defendant’s written plea agreement.

After Burns wrecked his Kia Forte on Baldwin County 83, he admitted, he got out of the car, jumped a fence and ran toward the woods. A woman driving by asked the deputy, who was holding Burns’ companion at gunpoint, if she could help. The deputy asked her to drive toward the woods and see if she saw the other man but warned her not to get close.

Burns(Baldwin County Jail)

When she did, according to the plea document, Burns threatened her with a broken piece of cinder block and pulled her from her Dodge Grand Caravan.

Burns then led deputies on a second chase. This one ended at the Foley Beach Express and Baldwin County 8 in Gulf Shores when Burns wrecked for a second time. Court records show he collided with a truck, which totaled that vehicle but did not injure the driver, his wife and their 2-year-old child.

Deputies arrested Burns at gunpoint in a nearby vacant lot. Noting the defendant’s green-dyed hair and distinctive tattoos on his neck and arms, the Dodge owner told investigators she was 100 percent certain when she identified him from a photo array.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Steele ordered Burns to be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years after his prison term. The judge also ordered him to pay $25,018 in restitution.