Jackson man found guilty in Northpark '13 robbery
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:00 PM
RIDGELAND - A Jackson man is likely facing 20 years in prison after a Madison County jury found him guilty of robbery and witness tampering.
T.L. Briggs, 23, of 1160 McLean Street in Jackson, was convicted of robbing a Northpark shopper as she left Northpark Mall on Dec. 14 with her two-year-old child in-tow.
Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said last week that Briggs waited outside the J.C. Penny's department store until the victim approached her vehicle around 8:45 p.m. - with nearly $400 in Christmas gifts - when Briggs struck her from behind, knocked her to the ground and stole her bags.
An incident report revealed that Ridgeland Police responded and determined that both the mother and the child were not seriously injured. Police received a description of the robber from the victim before going inside J.C. Penny's to get a reprint of the receipt for the stolen items.
At approximately 10:15 p.m., police received a call from the loss prevention officer at J.C. Penny's, who reported that Briggs was in the store attempting to return the stolen items. Store employees were able to stall Briggs until police arrived and arrested him in the parking lot.
Upon search of Briggs' vehicle, police discovered a toy car that had been stolen, along with the bright-orange hood sweatshirt the victim said her assailant was wearing.
Although mall surveillance cameras did not capture the assault, they did capture Briggs entering the mall at 9:20 p.m. and visiting three stores the victim had previously visited to return the stolen items for a cash refund.
Ridgeland Police also obtained recordings of phone calls made by Briggs to his girlfriend while inside the Madison County Jail in which he asked her, on at least three occasions, to provide him an alibi for the time of the robbery.
In a statement released by the his office, Guest described Briggs as a "real life version of the Grinch."
"This is an individual who cares about no one other than himself," Guest said. "To assault a mother and knock her child from her arms, then take the presents that she had purchased for Christmas, is a despicable act."
Guest estimated that Briggs would likely do 15 years on one count of robbery, and five more on a charge of witness-tampering for asking his girlfriend to lie to law enforcement officers.
He also lobbed praise at the Ridgeland Police Department, which he said worked hard to gather all of the evidence the jury needed to return verdicts of "guilty."
"Because of their work," he said. "Along with the assistance of the loss prevention department at J.C. Penny's, another dangerous individual will now spend many years behind bars for his crime."
Briggs had a prior conviction from non-adjudication in Hinds County for credit card fraud. He was on probation at the time of the robbery.