A former Texas police officer has admitted to organizing the fatal 2015 shooting of his pregnant girlfriend after she reportedly refused to abort his baby.
Ex-Austin officer VonTrey Clark, 36, pleaded guilty to the horrific crime in Bastrop County District Court on Monday, and will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Clark’s girlfriend, Samantha Dean, was found shot to death behind a deserted office building in Bastrop County back in 2015. At the time, Dean, a 29-year-old police crime victims counselor, was seven months pregnant with Clark’s child.
Clark, who has a family with another woman, urged Dean to get an abortion, prosecutors said. When she refused, Clark hired two men and paid them $5,000 to kill Dean for $5,000, they said.
Clark’s confession, which was read out by prosecutors in court, is a stunning reversal of the not guilty plea he entered in November.
It brings his capital murder case to a close shortly before he was scheduled to head to trial. State prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in the case.
The Austin Police Department fired Clark in July 2015 after he fled to Bali, Indonesia, without permission to leave Travis County. Indonesian police detained Clark the following month on a visa-related issue.
Federal agents extradited Clark back to the United States that September. He was detained in the Bastrop County Jail and indicted on a capital murder charge that October.
In November 2015, a Bastrop County grand jury indicted one of Clark’s two accused associates in the murder-for-hire plot. Kevin L. Watson initially pleaded not guilty in 2016 but he amended his plea to guilty in September this year. He is expected to serve 35 years in prison.
In September, a grand jury indicted Clark´s second accused accomplice, Freddie Smith, on a murder charge. Smith’s arraignment is slated for January 6.
Dean’s family and supporters were present in court on Monday to hear Clark’s confession.
Dean’s sister, Taylor, subsequently read an impact statement to the court.
‘The one person that I can turn to for moral advice or support is gone, thanks to you,’ she stated. ‘You stole my favorite person.’
Dean’s mother, Kimberley, also had her chance to speak to the court, saying she not only lost her daughter, but also her unborn granddaughter, Madeline.
‘We are two less people because of you. I am the mother to Sam and grandma to Madeline. There isn’t enough paper to write down all my feelings. There are no apologies grand enough to minimize my disgust for your existence,’ she stated, according to KVUE.
‘You have issued all of us a life sentence.’
SOURCE: The Associated Press; Daily Mail, Andrew Court