'Jack Boys' conviction brings relief to neighborhood - KMSP-TV

'Jack Boys' conviction brings relief to neighborhood

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Residents in the Virginia Highland neighborhood said they are thrilled to hear that three men were found guilty in a violent crime spree in the area.

A jury found 19-year-old Tamario Wise, 18-year-old Robert Veal and 21-year-old Fernandez Whatley guilty Thursday in a series of crimes that occurred two years ago. The three, known as the "Jack Boys," were accused of numerous crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, home invasion and kidnapping.

Kay Stephenson, a street captain for the neighborhood watch in Virginia Highland, says the crime spree gripped residents.

"Because this was sort of a random situation, that made it that much more scary," said Stephenson said.

The Jack Boys reign directly led to unprecedented participation in the neighborhood watch.

"I guess as the neighborhood watch coordinator, I had to somewhat view this as the silver lining in a cloud that hung over the neighborhood," said John Wolfinger.

The number of residents who signed up for email crime alerts tripled and the program that pays for off-duty police officers to patrol the area, also grew.

"It's really a dramatic, dramatic change," said Stephenson.

All that extra attention has continued to pay off. Recently when a police description of a man who was wanted for home break-ins in this area went out on social media, a woman happened to see the guy on her street. She called 911 and police arrested him right away.

"I think we're far more aware of what's going on around us every day," said Wolfinger.

Residents said that they feel safer because they know how to not make themselves open to crime and they feel they can protect themselves a little better.

The three convicted men could face decades behind bars.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • 2-year-old drowns in Paulding Co. pool

    2-year-old drowns in Paulding Co. pool

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:29:17 GMT
    Authorities are investigating the drowning of a 2-year-old Paulding County boy.
    Authorities are investigating the drowning of a 2-year-old Paulding County boy.

  • Missing Tyrone teen located in Florida

    Missing Tyrone teen located in Florida

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:26:14 GMT
    Police in Florida have located a 13-year-old runaway from Tyrone, a city south of Atlanta.
    Police in Florida have located a 13-year-old runaway from Tyrone, a city south of Atlanta.
  • Man shot dead outside South DeKalb Mall

    Man shot dead outside South DeKalb Mall

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:39 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:39:41 GMT
    A man has been charged with murder after a shooting outside South DeKalb Mall on Wednesday evening.
    A man has been charged with murder after a shooting outside South DeKalb Mall on Wednesday evening.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices