PLATTSBURGH — Both Gustavo Segundo-Clark’s and Ginger Clark’s DNA were found on the knife allegedly used to kill Clark, according to witness testimony in Segundo-Clark’s trial today.
Segundo-Clark is currently on trial for the alleged Nov. 20, 2018, murder of his grandmother, Clark, as well as other charges.
The final day of witness testimony began with the prosecuting team of Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie and Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Stitt interviewing Dr. Michael Sikirica, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Clark.
When examining Clark, 73, at the Albany Medical Center, Sikirica was able to determine that she died due to blood loss from a cut left carotid artery.
Sikirica described the wounds found on Clark’s neck as photos of the wounds were displayed to the court.
ROLL IN CARPET
Among them was a large 11-centimeter by three-and-a-half “incised wound” on the right and front of her neck comprised of many smaller incised wounds, as well as what he described as a either a deep incised wound or shallow stab wound on the left side of her neck.
Sikirica said that the wounds were suggestive of knife cuts, but he could only say with certainty that they were caused by a sharp object.
An internal examination of the neck found that the cuts had cut into Clark’s larynx, about halfway through her left carotid artery and through her jugular vein.
When Wylie asked Sikirica if someone who suffered injuries like these would be able to then “roll their self up in a carpet,” Sikirica said no.
Sikirica said that he also found “defensive wounds” on both the tops and palms of Clark’s hands that appeared to have been caused by attempts to fend off a sharp object.
Next was Michelle Maura, a former forensic scientist who worked with State Police for over 18 years before retiring this past March.
Maura was the one responsible for testing pieces of evidence collected from 111 Rooney Rd. in Beekmantown, the site of the alleged murder, for blood.
This included the swabbings taken from the living room and bathroom floors, lightswitches from around the Rooney Road residence, and stained work gloves, sweatpants, a hoodie sweatshirt and the knife found there.
All of the items tested positive for blood.
Jennifer Ryan, another forensic scientist with the State Police, performed DNA analysis on the items that Maura had tested.
Several of the swabs tested positive for Clark’s DNA, Ryan said, but evidence from the knife found at 111 Rooney Rd. tested positive for both Clark’s and Segundo-Clark’s DNA.
The rest of the days statements focused primarily on more interviews that investigators had with Segundo-Clark, specifically during his transportation back to Clinton County from where he was apprehended downstate, and a few days later while he was being held in Clinton County Jail.
State Police Investigator Donald Martin rode with Segundo-Clark in the back seat of a police vehicle and interviewed him during the roughly four-and-a-half-hour trip to Clinton County Jail from the State Police barracks in North Syracuse.
'SHE SCRATCHED ME'
During the trip, Martin, who had some knowledge of what information investigators in North Syracuse had gained, spoke with Segundo-Clark about why he was travelling.
Segundo-Clark allegedly said that he was heading to Utica to see if a scratch on his hand was infected.
Segundo-Clark was pulled over in the town of Mentz in Cayuga County, over 70 miles west of Utica.
Martin said he then asked him about the scratches on his hand, to which he started to reply, “She scratched me,” before then switching to saying that a friend’s dog had scratched him while he was playing with it.
When Martin began questioning Segundo-Clark about the incident at 111 Rooney Rd., Segundo-Clark said that he had walked into the house and found Clark on the floor, rolled up in a carpet and bleeding from the neck.
Martin said that he first said he was returning from his cousin Tavon’s when he found the body before changing his story and saying that he had gone outside to take out the trash and smoke a cigarette before returning inside and finding the body.
Martin said that he interviewed Segundo-Clark’s cousin who said that he had not had any contact with Segundo-Clark on Nov. 20.
Martin said that he noticed that Segundo-Clark did not have much of a reaction when he was told that Clark had died, and that Segundo-Clark had sometimes laughed when talking about finding his grandmother dead on the floor.
FIGHT WITH CLARK
Martin was also part of an interview Nov. 26 at Clinton County Jail, along with State Police Investigator Jody Winch.
Winch, who also testified Tuesday, also interviewed Segundo-Clark about the Rooney Road incident, at which point Segundo-Clark changed his story again.
Segundo-Clark first said that he and Clark had gotten in an altercation after she had become angry when he said he wanted to start drinking alcohol again.
He said that he had grabbed Clark’s car keys to drive and get beer, and Clark tried to grab the keys from him during the quarrel, also scratching him.
Segundo-Clark said he extricated himself from the fight, locked the door as he left and drove to get beer.
“I come back to the house, and she was on the floor,” Segundo-Clark said in a recording of the interview that was played in court.
In the same recording, Segundo-Clark said that after finding her on the floor in a pool of blood, he rolled her over, checked for a pulse and called 911 on his cellphone, to which he said he got no answer.
Segundo-Clark also said that he had found Clark with a knife in her right hand, a knife that he washed before leaving the home because he was worried about it having his fingerprints on it.
He said he wasn’t sure where he left it after washing it.
When Winch confronted Segundo-Clark with questions about the “defensive wounds” on Clark’s hands, Segundo-Clark changed the story of the fight to add that Clark had grabbed a knife by the blade and shook it at him while yelling.
Winch was the final witness that the prosecution called for the case.
Segundo-Clark’s defense attorney Joseph Mucia called no witnesses for the entirety of the case.
Closing statements in the case are set for 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Clinton County Courthouse.
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The trial of Gustavo Segundo-Clark continues Wednesday.
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.