Local News

Three charged in slaying, carjacking of elderly Durham man

Posted August 6, 2010 11:54 a.m. EDT
Updated August 7, 2010 8:26 a.m. EDT

— 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?"

 

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.