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Knoxville man arraigned in federal court for multiple robberies and carjacking

According to a report, when the suspect approached the victim, he pulled out a handgun and demanded that the victim exit the vehicle.
Credit: KPD

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on several robberies and a carjacking after being arrested in January.

According to the Department of Justice's Eastern District of Tennessee, DeShawn Whited, 23, faces six counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of carjacking, seven counts of brandishing a firearm, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Whited was arraigned in court on Thursday after the grand jury indicted him on March 17. He will face trial on June 29, 2021 before Judge Katherin Crytzer.

The indictment alleges Whited robbed convenience stores and restaurants across Knoxville between December 2, 2020 and January 20, 2021.

Whited was arrested after a carjacking was reported at Gay Street near Magnolia Avenue on January 20, 2021.

At 2:30 p.m. that day, the Knoxville Police Department responded to a carjacking at Gay Street near Magnolia Avenue. 

A male victim said that he was flagged down by an unknown suspect at the intersection of Gay Street and Magnolia Avenue, police said. 

According to a report, when the suspect approached the victim, he pulled out a handgun and demanded that the victim exit the vehicle.

The victim complied and the suspect left the scene in the victim’s vehicle, police said.

Around 6:15 p.m., officers said they saw the stolen vehicle and Whited at the Kroger at 4414 Asheville Highway. 

Officers approached and arrested Whited for the outstanding warrant.

Further search incident to the arrest revealed a handgun, a shotgun, and an amount of a substance believed to be marijuana, officers said. 

A records check also revealed that Whited had a prior felony conviction.

Credit: KPD

If convicted for the Hobbs Act Robberies, Whited would face up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Whited was also face another 15 years in prison and another fine up to $250,000 for the carjacking. Brandishing a weapon carries a sentence of seven years to life,  and the final charge carries up to a 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine.