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Update: Unlicensed painter pleads guilty

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Jerry Crocker appears in court. (Source: KTVK) Jerry Crocker appears in court. (Source: KTVK)

Jerry Crocker recently had his day in front of a judge inside a Maricopa County Justice Court.

It was a guilty plea for the man who's been on 3 On Your Side's radar since April. Back then, we explained how he was given a $950 deposit to start painting the home of Terri and Bob Gehrke. However, he ended up not doing any painting at all and he told the judge he walked away with the money due to some personal issues and employee problems.

"I entered into an agreement with her stating I was an unlicensed contractor and I was going to paint her house," he said.

After the guilty plea, 3 On Your Side got back with Terri Gehrke, who says she couldn't be more satisfied that the law finally caught up with the man who took her money.

"I'm glad he did plead guilty and he was ordered to pay restitution, which is to pay me the $950 he owes us," she said.

It sure has been a rocky road for the unlicensed contractor. 3 On Your Side started getting complaints about him last spring and finally confronted Crocker about the Gehrkes' money.

"I’ll return the money in two weeks," he told us.

Well, that didn't happen and Crocker eventually had criminal charges filed against him. When he showed up at North Valley Justice Court to formally hear those charges, 3 On Your Side was also there.

Crocker was charged with theft and contracting without a license.

At another recent court hearing, Crocker pleaded guilty to the theft charge just to get the issue behind him. As for getting paid restitution, Terri Gehrke wonders if it will actually happen.

"He has to pay it through the court," she said. "I'm not going to hold my breath and expect the money because I'm not expecting it, but it'll be a nice surprise if I do get it."

[RELATED: Glendale homeowners 'painted into a corner']

[RELATED: Update: Painting with a Purpose]

[RELATED: Update: Unlicensed painter just didn't pay it back]

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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