April 19, 1997 in City

Rapist-Killer Faces Death Penalty Defendant Convicted Earlier In Death Of 7-Year-Old Girl

Associated Press
 
Tags:trial

The man who raped and repeatedly stabbed 7-year-old Roxanne Doll should be put to death for his crimes, a Snohomish County Superior Court jury decided Friday.

Richard Clark, 28, showed no emotion as the jury’s decision was read. His relatives wept while Roxanne’s parents smiled.

Clark, who was convicted Tuesday of kidnap, rape and aggravated murder, will be formally sentenced April 25 by Judge Richard Thorpe.

“The jury should be commended for performing a difficult task with respect to a horrifying crime,” said county Prosecutor James H. Krider.

Clark will become the 13th inmate awaiting execution at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Aggravated first-degree murder is the only capital crime in Washington, and a separate penalty phase was held to present evidence to a jury that also had the option of recommending life in prison without parole for Clark.

During the death-penalty phase of the trial, Clark’s brother testified about the nightmare years with an abusive stepfather who beat three Clark children with a belt, fireplace poker and an electrical cord.

Clark attorney Bill Jaquette, a public defender, said the family testimony was intended to help explain - not excuse - Richard Clark’s actions.

“Neglect, abuse, tragedy - Richard Clark was subject to all of them,” he said.

“The blackness in this defendant’s heart doesn’t get any blacker,” said Deputy Prosecutor Jo Vanderlee.

“Nothing can excuse this crime,” she said, noting that none of Clark’s four siblings resorted to murdering a little girl.

The state characterized the crimes against Roxanne as “every child’s worst nightmare.” She was kidnapped from her south Everett home in April 1995, raped and stabbed multiple times in the neck.

Defense lawyers had attacked the state’s case as circumstantial and said DNA evidence could have been flawed.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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