Man gets 14 years in prison for DeKalb carjacking, Coweta firearms thefts

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

A DeKalb County man responsible for stealing a car in 2018 and multiple other carjackings and firearms thefts through 2020 was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison Monday, according to officials.

Antonio McCrary, 24, was sentenced to 13 years and six months, to be followed by three years of supervised release, in the carjacking in Chamblee and the other thefts in Newnan, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said in a news release.

The investigation into McCrary began after a man heard his car unlock in the garage and saw the lights come on while in the kitchen of his home March 10, 2018, U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine said. The victim went to the garage and saw McCrary jump into the car, then ran outside as another person backed the car out. The victim at some point jumped onto the hood but fell off when he heard a gunshot, the office said.

“These two men brazenly stole a car from a family’s driveway and fired a gun towards the victim as they sped away,” Erskine said.

Shortly after the carjacking, Erskine said video footage showed McCrary and 23-year-old Cortez Butler getting out of the stolen car. Four days later, it was recovered from another person during a traffic stop in Atlanta.

In a different stolen vehicle, McCrary and another man broke into more than a dozen cars during a three-hour crime spree in Newnan on Jan. 23, 2020, Erskine said. They are also said to have stolen cash, electronics and four guns.

Since several of the break-ins were caught on camera, Newnan police placed a “lookout” alert for the stolen car. That afternoon, a Coweta County deputy spotted it and attempted a traffic stop. McCrary led officers on a high-speed chase of over 130 mph on I-85 and recklessly cut in and out of traffic, according to Erskine.

After getting off the highway, McCrary ran multiple red lights and stop signs and caused another car to run off the road and hit a tree, the office said. The chase came to an end when McCrary lost control, ran off the road and landed sideways in a ditch.

“Thankfully no lives were lost during McCrary’s or Butler’s crimes as a result of the coordinated efforts of federal and local law enforcement,” Erskine said.

McCrary and another man inside the car were taken to a hospital, then booked into jail on state charges.

Newnan police recovered all of the items stolen earlier that day, including four firearms. They also recovered five additional guns, most of which were recently reported stolen.

McCrary’s prison time stems from charges of carjacking and discharge of a firearm during the carjacking in 2018, and the thefts and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the 2020 incidents, Erskine said. McCrary had previously pleaded guilty to a home burglary in Cumming, during which he and others stole jewelry, electronics and a luxury automobile.

Butler, the man who helped McCrary in the Chamblee carjacking, was sentenced in September 2020 to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after he pleaded guilty to the firearm discharge during the incident, according to the office.

“This sentencing sends a message to those contemplating such brazen and selfish criminal acts that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The public is now safer with McCrary and (Butler) behind bars,” acting Special Agent at FBI Atlanta Philip Wislar said.