Teen pleads in carjacking case, two face trial


Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE – A Melvindale teen who’d been charged along with two others in the carjacking, kidnapping and assault of a 69-year-old Southgate man is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to one of seven counts she’d faced.

Destiny Marie Gerwatowski pleaded guilty on April 9 before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cameron to one count of conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery, a felony punishable by a term of three to 15 years in prison. According to court records, Gerwatowski is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

Gerwatowski had been charged in January with six felony counts, including carjacking, armed robbery, home invasion and unlawful imprisonment; five charges were dismissed when she pleaded guilty earlier this month.

Police and prosecutors said she and two others – 31-year-old Alphonso Lamarr Straughter Jr., of Dearborn and Tajick Lewis Jackson, 36 of River Rouge – had conspired to rob and carjack the 69-year-old man who’d been in a relationship with Gerwatowski.

According to police reports, the 69-year-old man and Gerwatowski had returned to his house in the 14000 block of Brest Road early Jan. 2. The man parked the vehicle and walked into the garage, where he was allegedly approached by Straughter and Jackson, one of whom put a gun to his head.

Public Safety Director Thomas Coombs said the man was put into the trunk of his car after the two took his wallet, and driven away from the house. Somewhere on Dix-Toledo the man was able to find the trunk’s emergency latch, let himself out when the vehicle stopped and called for police.

The three were taken into custody within two days of the carjacking, Coombs said.

Straughter and Jackson were charged with six felonies each, including armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, home invasion and carjacking. Straughter was further charged as a habitual offender, second notice; Jackson with being a habitual offender, fourth notice and with firearms charges, according to court records.

A jury trial for Straughter and Jackson is scheduled for June 22.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)