An 18-year-old Gary man was sentenced to six years on probation for carjacking a prominent Gary lawyer who died six months after the crime. Jerry Lee Tarver admitted he and co-defendant David Adam Watson, 17, carjacked Fred Work as he sat alone in his car on March 16. Court records indicate Work was sitting in his 2001 Lincoln listening to the radio in an alley behind his home when two males wearing masks walked up and ordered him out of his car at gunpoint. Tarver and Watson got into his car and took off after stealing his money and watch.
Tarver has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of Watson, who appeared in court Monday for his initial hearing. Watson, who was 16 at the time, has pleaded not guilty. If Tarver fails his probation terms, which include that he obtain his GED, he will be sent to prison. The plea agreement, which was accepted by Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell last week, called for the dismissal of robbery and battery charges.
About five weeks after the carjacking, Watson was shot by Gary police Patrolman Terry Peck after he raised an AK-47 and ignored the officer’s commands to drop the weapon.
Watson was hospitalized in Indianapolis after the shooting. Work died Sept. 13 at age 75.