Wilkerson acquitted of murder, gets prison for robbery

May. 02, 2014 @ 05:22 PM

A jury found Robert Earl Wilkerson not guilty Friday of murdering an 83-year-old man during a 2010 carjacking, but convicted him of robbery.

He was sentenced to 11 to 15 years in prison.

The Durham County Superior Court jury returned its verdict shortly after noon. Wilkerson was found guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon in the shooting death of George Junior Pratt.

Pratt was shot in both legs while sitting in his car, pulled outside and thrown to the ground, according to testimony at the two-week trial. He died two months later of complications from his wounds.

An alleged accomplice, Leryan Scarlett, testified for the prosecution. Scarlett said he and Wilkerson were looking for someone to rob as they drove around Durham on April 7, 2010.

He said they saw Pratt in his car on Franklin Street, near Alston Avenue, and that Wilkerson got out and shot Pratt. He said Wilkerson drove off in Pratt’s car and that he followed in his.

Scarlett, who also was charged with murder and armed robbery, is expected to get a lighter sentence as part of a plea deal.

Wilkerson’s then-girlfriend, Sharell Roberson, is charged with felony accessory after the fact and filing a false police report in connection with Pratt’s death. Her case is pending.