PLATTSBURGH — Jury deliberations began in the trial of Gustavo Segundo-Clark today.
Segundo-Clark, 25, of Beekmantown, stands accused of murdering his grandmother, Ginger Clark, 73, also of Beekmantown, among other charges.
LACK OF PRINTS
The day began with closing statements from the defense and prosecution.
Attorney Joe Mucia, representing Segundo-Clark, focused his final argument to the jury on “pieces of the puzzle” of the case that the prosecution had not accounted for during the trial.
Mucia pointed out the lack of fingerprints on the bloodstained hoodie that State Police investigators had found in a bedroom at the 111 Rooney Rd. residence in Beekmantown where Clark was allegedly murdered, as well as the lack of prints on the carpet that Clark’s body was found wrapped in and the knife that Clark was allegedly murdered with.
He brought this up despite the fact that State Police Investigator Brendan Frost, an investigator that took part in evidence collection at Clark’s home, testified Monday that they didn’t check for prints on the carpet or hoodie as those were not surfaces that would generally pick up fingerprints.
Segundo-Clark himself had been heard saying that he had washed off the knife in question because he was worried that it may have had his fingerprints on it in a recording of an interview with State Police investigators that was played during witness testimony.
Mucia also pointed out issues in the prosecution’s timeline, and the fact that Segundo-Clark had never stated that he had killed his grandma.
“I think there are pieces missing to this puzzle,” Mucia said to the court.
Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Stitt, half of the prosecution team that also include District Attorney Andrew Wylie, performed the closing statement on behalf of the people.
“It sounds to me like we are playing with a different puzzle here,” Stitt said.
'HE'D BURY HIMSELF'
Before delving into the prosecution’s evidence and timeline, Stitt addressed the comment about Segundo-Clark not admitting to killing Clark.
“Why would a person admit to killing someone?” Stitt said. “He can’t admit to that; he’d bury himself. The evidence does that though.”
Stitt then went through Mucia’s issues with discrepancies in evidence and the timeline, most of which were easily explained, and explored the different reasons that Segundo-Clark was possibly motivated to harm Clark, including a voicemail that Clark left on Paul Ferrari’s phone saying that Segundo-Clark was using drugs again.
Ferrari is director of the Personalized Recovery Oriented Services program at Behavioral Health Services North and worked with Segundo-Clark for several years prior to the alleged crime.
“We know the defendant was upset,” Stitt said. “We know this was festering. We know that because he told investigators that. Ginger Clark was a problem for the defendant, even when she was trying to help. Ginger couldn’t deal with it anymore either, so he killed her.”
Following closing statements, Judge William Favreau charged the jury with their duties and sent them to deliberations shortly after 11 a.m., before calling them back at 11:40 to recess for lunch.
Deliberations resumed at 1 p.m. and continued until roughly 3 p.m. when the jury asked whether or not to take Segundo-Clark’s mental state into account, to be read the definition of the second-degree murder charge again and to be read back Ferrari’s testimony.
Favreau said that the mental state was not to be taken into account, except for the fact that intent is part of the murder charge, and read the definition again.
Ferrari’s testimony was read back shortly thereafter.
Deliberations continued until just before 5 p.m. when jurors were released for the night.
Wylie requested that the jurors be sequestered for the night, but Favreau denied that request.
Deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Clinton County Courthouse.
Email Ben Watson:
Jury Deliberations in the trial of Gustavo Segundo-Clark continue today.
The Beekmantown man, 25, is accused of stabbing his grandmother, Ginger Clark, to death with a kitchen knife Nov. 20, 2018, before stealing her credit card and 2010 Subaru Forester.
Segundo-Clark was apprehended by State Police in the Town of Mentz in the Subaru on Nov. 22.
He is being tried for charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree grand larceny in connection with the theft of the car, fourth-degree grand larceny in connection with the theft of the credit card and third-degree possession of a weapon, all felonies, as well as tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor.