CROWLEY COUNTY – A concerned family speaking with News5 about their worries the man accused of killing their son will get a plea deal.
In June, 22-year-old Jacob Bauer Jr. was found dead near his wrecked Jeep on a country road south of Crowley. He and his 16-year-old passenger were ejected during the crash.
Investigators believe Bauer was intentionally run off the road by 62-year-old Gerald Korinek as the older man was upset Bauer was out with his niece during the day.
The arrest affidavit states Korinek told state troopers he was following a vehicle seen doing donuts on his property when it unexpectedly crashed on County Lane 15. The story later developed into the niece being out with the boys then dropped off near his his home, which led him to follow the Jeep.
The passenger in the Jeep told investigators they were being chased and shot at as they left the area. Police did recover a .357 caliber pistol from Korinek’s truck and noticed damage consistent with hitting the Jeep.
During an interview with investigators, Korinek said he was concerned about his niece’s safety after hearing she was walking country roads and approached by strangers. He admitted to using his weapon to threaten the driver and passenger of the Jeep while pulled up alongside side them.
The investigator wrote, “Gerald says that people in his generation would stop if someone pointed a gun at them.”
Later in the affidavit the investigator paraphrases what he was told, “Gerald says that he sees the entire event as an accident. Gerald says that he has apologized to God and asked for forgiveness. Prison will not do him any good.”
The summary claims Korinek “waited in ambush for the Jeep” to bring his niece home. During the chase exceeding 58 miles per hour on a dirt road, he’s accused of firing his pistol in the air at least twice before shifting into a higher gear and ramming the back of the Jeep.
On Thursday, Korinek waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Bauer’s grandmother Sherran traveled all the way from Philadelphia to attend. “I drove out to go to this hearing and I was just totally flabbergasted,” she said.
Bauer’s family is worried the defendant will receive a light sentence if a plea deal is reached.
“If he could be allow to plead guilty on the vehicular homicide and drop all the other charges. You know, where’s the justice in that?” asks the victim’s father Jacob Bauer Sr.
The family fears their fight for justice is far from over. “That part of our family is gone now and it’ll never be replaced,” Sherran said as she remembered her grandson.
Korinek is charged with Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the First Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, Assault in the First Degree, and Menacing.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office said they’ve made no plea agreement yet, and can’t discuss it until it is entered on court.
Korinek is due back in court on February 22nd.