A Pierce County man was sentenced to 74 years in prison Friday for a 1991 shooting that killed one woman, paralyzed another woman and killed her unborn baby.
Larry Tarrer, 40, was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and manslaughter Monday after his third trial, which began 23 years after the shooting, which paralyzed Claudia McCorvey, and killed her unborn son, and Lavern Simpkins, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
In 1991, Tarrer, who was 17 at the time, shot McCorvey and Simpkins multiple times at McCorvey’s Tillicum apartment after accusing them of taking his rock cocaine. Simpkins died at the scene, but McCorvey survived and was rushed to the hospital. Her baby died 35 minutes after doctors performed an emergency caesarean section.
Tarrer was tried as an adult and pleaded guilty in 1991, but withdrew his plea a few months later. A jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict when he was tried in 2009. In 2010, he was re-tried and convicted, but the conviction was overturned after he filed an appeal.
Tarrer and another inmate sued the Pierce County Jail in 2010, claiming they were banned from practicing Islam because the jail prohibited group prayer, banned certain religious clothing and refused to accommodate their diet. Under a settlement in 2012, jail officials agreed to offer Halal meals, allow inmates to buy prayer rugs and provide opportunities for group prayer.