TACOMA, WA – Today Larry Tarrer, 40, was sentenced to 74 years in prison for a 1991 shooting that paralyzed Claudia McCorvey, and killed McCorvey’s unborn son and Lavern Simpkins. On Feb. 10, 2014, a jury convicted the defendant of murder in the first degree, attempted murder in the first degree, and manslaughter. He will serve this sentence after completing a 10-year sentence in a federal penitentiary for unrelated drug charges.
On Jan. 9, 1991, the defendant, McCorvey, Simpkins, and several acquaintances were gathered at McCorvey’s Tillicum apartment. When the defendant noticed that his rock cocaine was missing, he accused McCorvey and Simpkins of taking it. They argued and he shot the victims several times with his .45 caliber pistol. Simpkins died at the scene, but McCorvey survived and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors delivered her unborn baby by emergency caesarean section, but the baby died 35 minutes later.
The defendant was 17-years-old at the time of the shooting, but he was tried as an adult. He pleaded guilty in 1991, but withdrew his plea a few months later. He was tried for the crimes in 2009, but the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. In 2010, he was re-tried, a jury convicted him and he was sentenced to 896 years in prison. The defendant filed an appeal, and the Court of Appeals overturned his 2010 conviction. His third trial began 23 years after the shooting.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office