Local News

Three charged in slaying, carjacking of elderly Durham man

Posted August 6, 2010
Updated August 7, 2010

— Police have charged two men and a woman in connection with the death of a Durham man who was shot during a carjacking on his 83rd birthday.

Police said that George Junior Pratt was sitting in his 1994 Plymouth Acclaim in the 1100 block of Franklin Street on April 7 when two men got out of another car and approached him. One man pulled Pratt out his car, threw him on the ground and shot him twice in the leg before fleeing in his car.

Pratt died June 7 as a result of complications from his injuries.

This week, a grand jury indicted Robert Earl Wilkerson, 27, of North Duke Street, and Leryan Ishmael Scarlett, 26, of Morehead Avenue, on charges of murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Sharell Roberson, 24, of Currin Road, has been charged with felony accessory after the fact and filing a false police report.

Friends of Pratt said they still want answers to his death.

"Who would do this? Why? What is the reason?" family friend Linwood Johnson said. "Someone that age – why would you do that?" Sharell Roberson, Three charged in slaying, carjacking


Scarlett was arrested Thursday during a traffic stop in Brunswick County in Virginia. He was being held there, pending extradition to North Carolina.

Wilkerson was being held in the Durham County jail Friday without bond. Roberson was being held under a $751,000 bond.

State Department of Correction records show that Scarlett and Wilkerson have both served prison sentences for armed robbery and assault charges.

Wilkerson was convicted in 2000 of five counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault on a policeman. DOC records show that he served more than six years in prison and completed parole in August 2007.

According to DOC records, Scarlett served a 4½-year sentence for 2003 convictions for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. In 2003, he was also convicted of assault inflicting serious injury, common-law robbery, possession of drugs with intent to sell and speeding to elude arrest.

While in prison, he racked up 18 infractions, including fighting and assault staff with a weapon, records state.

Less than four months after his release from prison, Scarlett was arrested in a two-day sting targeting drug sales. He was convicted of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia in January 2009 and placed on probation.


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  • AtALost Aug 6, 2010

    We all need to carry guns so we can do what our so called justice system isn't willing to do. It's sad that people get to hurt/kill many before we finally prevent them from doing it again. Of course we rarely do that because even if given life in prison, they still poison the minds of lesser criminals and aren't likely to be there for life. It's like lifetime warranties.....sounds good but isn't what you think. I'm willing to take a chance on 5 or 6 years in prison by taking these creeps out if they attempt anything with me. I usually ride with my doors locked and check out my surroundings. Unfortunately, this man was in a euphoric state and wasn't as paranoid as I am most of the time. May he RIP and may these three and others like them RIH.

  • james27613 Aug 6, 2010

    Too bad there is no law that requires a large photo of the victim, Mr. George Junior Pratt, to be placed in the prison cell after these three are found guilty by a jury.

  • colliedave Aug 6, 2010

    Laws must be changed so there is no chance violent offenders such as there can receive probation. Too much of our current jv law is based on the concept of them doing stupid things rather than committing violent crimes. It doesn't help when menbers of the Supremes have this mindset.

  • shortcake53 Aug 6, 2010

    I remember the day this happened and how awful I felt for that poor man and his family. What is it going to take to get these creeps off our streets??? Lawmakers listen up: MAKE TOUGHER LAWS, judges listen up: MAKE THE LAWS STICK! I dont care how crowded the prisons are, stack them up if you have to, they dont deserve deluxe accomodations anyway. This just makes me sick.

  • sunshinegal0726 Aug 6, 2010

    This is just heartbreaking.

  • deton8tor Aug 6, 2010

    At this point it is irrelevant as to why these two are the way they are. There are no reasons that justify their actions. They are a danger to society and there is nothing in their actions or history that would indicate that they will not continue to be a danger. Previous incarcerations did not show that they might be inclined to be rehabilitated. Should they be found guilty of this last crime they should be executed, PERIOD.

  • james27613 Aug 6, 2010

    PROBATION? give me a break, who was the judge and the ADA that allowed probation?

    Less than four months after his release from prison, Wilkerson was arrested in a two-day sting targeting drug sales. He was convicted of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia in January 2009 and placed on probation.

  • james27613 Aug 6, 2010

    He we go again, convicts obtaining firearm to use in crimes.

    Legislature needs to get TOUGH on anyone who uses a firearm in crime.

    12 years mandatory, no plea, no probation, no deals no nothing but 12 SOLID YEARS CONSECUTIVE JAIL TIME on top of any other charges you build up if you commit crimes.

    Yes, 12 years on top of the other time, not concurrent sentence.

    More and more anti-gun people say firearms are dangerous,
    too bad that the elderly gentleman did not or was not able to
    defend himself. I bet he served in our military and was a veteran.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 6, 2010

    I guess we'll learn that they were on drugs. So now the problem is the drugs. Or is it the drug cartel. Or is the Federal goverment who turns a blind eye on the illegal immigration that allows the drugs and the cartel gangs into our country? Or could it be that the school system or the counseler let them down. It certainly won't be the parents or the crimminals fault.

  • YeaOh Aug 6, 2010

    ericeric99 - hanging was popular long before slavery. Go hijack some other image to help with your self loathing.