But if Harris was lying, no one was willing to tell the truth. Clark's cousins, who prosecutors said were also in the Tahoe, refused to take the stand and were each sentenced to a year in prison on contempt and perjury charges. And despite the fact that forensic evidence showed there had been two shooters, Clark declined to testify in his own defense.

"I choose not to because I received threats about this issue of me testifying or not," he told the judge. "I actually wanted to, because I have nothing to hide, but I can't protect my family."

***********

Attorney Elisabeth Owen, who is representing Clark in a civil suit against the DOC, has a special interest in solitary-confinement issues.
Anthony Camera
Attorney Elisabeth Owen, who is representing Clark in a civil suit against the DOC, has a special interest in solitary-confinement issues.

In prison, Clark has had no choice but to hide. He's been kept away from other prisoners for most of his time behind bars.

Although he wasn't charged with murder until October 2008, Clark had been incarcerated since four days after Williams was killed, when he was arrested at his lawyer's office on a parole violation related to a previous car-theft charge. The police named him a "person of interest" in Williams's death but stopped short of calling him a suspect.

Clark was then sentenced to six months in a facility for parole violators, and on the day he was scheduled to get out in June 2007, he was arrested again for drug possession and distribution in connection with the federal trafficking case that also involved Harris and several others who would eventually testify against him.

The cops alleged that Clark was a member of a violent drug crew associated with the Tre Tre Crips gang that was involved in large-scale crack trafficking, drive-by shootings and burglaries, and whose members were linked to eleven unsolved murders — not to mention the 2006 shooting death of witness Kalonniann Clark. (Willie Clark, who is not related to Kalonniann Clark, was eventually convicted of that crime, along with two other men, and given another life sentence. He's also appealing that conviction.)

After his arrest, Clark was locked up in the federal detention center in Littleton. The day he was charged with Williams's murder, he was moved to solitary confinement, known as the "special housing unit." When Clark asked why, the warden wrote in a letter that his placement was up to the U.S. Marshals Service, which "works closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Colorado State Attorney's Office. Additionally, your case received national publicity, and your placement in our special housing unit was to ensure your safety."

Clark was later transferred to the Denver County Jail to await trial for Williams's murder. There he was again kept separated from the other inmates.

***********

After closing arguments, the jury spent a day and a half deliberating.They asked the judge three written questions, as juries are allowed to do. One asked whether Clark could be found guilty of first-degree murder "as a result of being complicit."

Yes, the judge answered (a response that has now come up in appeal).

On March 11, 2010, the jury found Clark guilty of murder and of a litany of lesser charges. Shortly thereafter, Clark told the court that he intended to appeal. But it took several years for the state to appoint an alternate defense-counsel attorney and for that attorney, Eric Samler, to prepare his argument. Finally, in February of this year, Samler filed the opening brief, laying out the reasons why Clark's conviction should be overturned. Now he's waiting for the state attorney general's office, which handles all criminal appeals in Colorado, to file its response.

 In Clark's appeal, Samler argues that the trial was riddled with juror misconduct, including an experiment the jurors performed outside the courtroom. According to one of them, several jurors went to a witness's apartment complex and stood on a balcony in an attempt to figure out whether the witness could have distinguished the color of a vehicle driving below on Speer Boulevard. The witness had testified that the night Williams was killed, he saw a green or brown SUV — not a white one — speeding northbound on Speer after he heard what he thought were firecrackers.

When Clark's previous attorneys asked for a new trial based on juror issues, however, the request was denied, a decision Samler would like to see overturned.

Clark's appeal also argues that prosecutors knew some witnesses were lying on the stand. Harris was the worst, it says. His version of events was "in direct conflict with the testimony of other witnesses" and was "not supported by physical evidence."

For example, Harris testified that Clark was the only person to shoot a gun into the limo, but two types of bullets — .40 caliber and .45 caliber — were found in the Hummer. Furthermore, the bullet holes showed that the .40-caliber bullets were mostly shot at a horizontal angle and the .45-caliber bullets were mostly shot at a downward angle, all of which points to two different people firing two different guns at two different angles.

On the stand, Harris also downplayed his role in the incident, making it sound as if he was Clark's clueless friend. Nearly every other witness identified Harris as the man who started the altercation and continued it at let-out. But Harris said he didn't remember seeing any athletes at the club or getting into any arguments. Only after he was shown surveillance footage did he admit that he looked like he was spoiling for a fight.

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59 comments
deerogers23
deerogers23

@Stanley1 you don't know Willie Clark and you definitely not God so who are you to judge this man and nobody should be treated like an animal,at the ean of the day people make mistake and im not saying that if you do something wrong you should not be punished be to keep someone locked up in a cage a lot.

anotherthing people you should all realize that it he is guilty he will be judged on judgement day....MAY GOD BLESS YOU WILL AND BELIEVE ME GOD HAS SOMETHIN IN STORE FOR YOU

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

You people have alot of nerves. Y'all just talkin crap cause D. Will (R.I.P.) was a professional football player. D Will (R.I.P.), was a good dude and my potna, Willie is a good dude as well and my homeboy. I don't think my man committed this crime and none of y'all were there to witness him commit this crime. A rat gonna say anything to save his own butt. The cowards that testified against Willie were lookin at serious charges and time as well, so they said wat they said to get outta a messed up siuation (RATS),now for brandon marshall, he's a coward to, talk all that tuff boy street niggah crap and got his teammate, my potna killed. You people think these professional sports players are innocent, knock it off. And until you live 1 day in Willie's shoes or know wats wat, shut the hell up. ALL LOVE WILLIE D. CLARK and R.I.P. D WILL

nuclearlemon
nuclearlemon

Was Clark a drug dealer?  Yes.  Did Clark hang with gang members?  Yes.  Did Clark admit to killing Williams on six occassions?  Yes.  Do I feel at all sorry for him?  Hell no!

It's called consequences folks.  It's what you pay when you screw up.  This article bemoans his intelligence and compassion, but he screwed up and now he's crying because he got caught.

And don't try to claim cruel punishment.  I've no sympathy there and I'm sure the parents of the kids he got addicted to drugs will agree with me.  You worry of his mental health, but what about the mental health of those making him a 'street nigga with money'?

Gang members aren't known for five fingering a pack of gum at the Five and Dime...they're too busy sticking a gun in the face of the clerk.  Assualt, rape, drugs, murder...these are not petty criminals and a smart man knows to stay away. 

You say the prison is being unfair, but they have to protect their pocketbook from the family that I'm sure will be jumping at the opportunity to sue the institution for the death of their 'good, loving, intelligent boy'

This article is the kind of liberal b.s. that's ruining this country.

jbirch713
jbirch713

Believe you me, there are a lot of innocent people behind bars. I have no clue as to if this guy is innocent. People lie all the time, witness pushed and coaxed by cops and prosecutors (dirty fucks). And when the lying ass people come forward and admit to lying. It takes years and years to get them out. For every mothrerfucker out there on the run sits and innocent person behind bars.


rosevango
rosevango

"Administrative segregation is supposed to be used to manage deeply problematic behaviors by prisoners," Wallace says, "and it really should be limited to the most extreme cases, where prisoners have been involved in real violence or credible threats."

Glad to see ACLU weigh in. I correspond a dozen CO DOC inmates, as a member of Committee for Judicial Justice, who formed in response to the Tim Masters' debacle case in Fort Collins. We see how trials are orchestrated, how slow and futile the appellate process is, and hear first hand what segregation is used for. Thank God for the CCJRC, working on reform of sentencing laws in CO. 

rosevango
rosevango

" According to the DOC, ad seg "is an offender management process and is not used as a punitive measure." Prisoners are kept in their cells for 23 hours a day. For one hour, they're allowed to go into a small room, alone, to "exercise." "

The irony in this statement screams for a response. Isolation is punishment. Prolonged isolation is torture.

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

i'd like to publish some of these comments in our print edition, ideally with your real name. If that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com

Sam Miller
Sam Miller

I hope that the errors of the article are not from the actual police report

Mnizzle
Mnizzle

"I haven't hugged my mom in over five years and that's not right at all!"

I tell ya' what, Willie - as soon as Darrent Williams' mother gets to hug her son,

we promise ... you're next.

Carlena Martinez
Carlena Martinez

I hate Ray Lewis too. He wasn't treated fairly because he's a football player.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

Oh, but you certainly must be after typing such "tough words," tough guy.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

Hah. Ray Lewis to this day gets plenty of sympathy and accolades -- from his peers and the general public -- despite having been on the opposite side of the law 13 years ago.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

There isn't enough room in solitary confinement for each and every convicted murderer. (Seriously, I wonder how many armchair pundits here would be willing to pony up the extra 100s of millions to set aside for ad seg. Very few, I would imagine.) Also, the circumstances involved in each individual crime widely vary. What this really is about is a particular individual whose victim happened to be a beloved professional athlete. Had this been an average citizen, his case would not have garnered so much attention (and outrage) from the general public. Frankly, this just proves that regardless of their so-called "principles," people still place status and wealth above all other factors when it comes to the criminal justice system. Just imagine the outcome had the roles of Williams and Clark had been reversed. You'd have a situation similar to that of none other than revered retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, who dodged a murder charge 13 years ago after his first Super Bowl win.

luckyruthland
luckyruthland

All i say to say is keep your head up we all know the REAL TRUTH so remember the comments that are being mad on here pay them no mind these people are just making opinions off of something they read wuthout know the person you REALLY are... Besides OPINIONS ARE LIKE ASSHOLE EVERYBODY HAS ONE!!! With that said you know we support you to the fullest FUCK what everybody else thinks... # BOOM!!!

shrena.henderson
shrena.henderson

Reading some of these comments makes me sick ta my stomach some of your mouths need to be confined none not a 1 of u know the true story yet are so quick to comment n or judge damn the man says he is not n a gang I would think n know from experience a gang member REPRESENTS their hood yet I read gangbangin bastard none of you seem him pull the trigger but he is a murdering fuck well all u psychics should have warned Darrent since though u nor I was there u can completely n factually not hypothetically speakin judge this man's guilt or innocents

Peter Hoang
Peter Hoang

"You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners." - FD

Suni Daze
Suni Daze

awwwwww !! Its so nice to read posts that confirm the suffering !! feelin warm and fuzzy inside !!

Miguel Munoz
Miguel Munoz

All I can say is that Colorado prisons are full of Broncos fans ..... but what comes around goes around thats karma so live up for what u did fucking pussy

Mike An Teresa
Mike An Teresa

Did you treat everyone in that limo fairly when you shot it up? Was that fair? Fuck you!! you can rot in that hole for all i care! Why dont you just fucking kill yourself or stop crying pussy!

William Covington
William Covington

ah let him into the population of the best Bronco fans in the prison.

John Mccall
John Mccall

Hey Willie, did you treat Darrent Williams fairly when you murdered him. What goes around, comes around. Don't flatter yourself, you're not the most hated man in Colorado, but you are a murdering asshole, though.

Peter William Goodwin
Peter William Goodwin

Fair treatment is a relative term here. Are we forgetting that he's housed with a bunch of other convicted cons? He should be treated fairly, comparatively.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

did you treat your victim fairly? then no. fuck you you little bitch, you're a little fuckin pussy. you deserve shit.

Peter William Goodwin
Peter William Goodwin

Thank god the general public doesn't make these decisions. Barbaric species.

McShyster
McShyster

How's that Thug Life working out for you now, eh punk?


JFlannigan
JFlannigan

There dozens of factual errors in this sensational story.  But conveniently overlooked here is the fact that Clark was ALSO convicted of ANOTHER murder -- his second senseless killing was a witness that he helped orhestrate and commit frominside  jail.  Really, is there any wonder he is in solitary?

stanley1
stanley1

@glwrightsr76 I don't give a shit nor care to live a day in Willie's shoes, and no one has to shut the hell up. He's a thug and a murderer, and I could give a shit about who turned and why. You're right, though, Williams wasn't innocent, he was a thug too. Aint thug life grand?

stanley1
stanley1

@nuclearlemon Correct, and all you have to do is read the few 1st grade level posts to know the mentality of his "family". 

stanley1
stanley1

Why are there so many fucking deniers/enablers in the hood? This little bitch and all of his bangin friends can get fucked, slow and hard. Fucking pussies with guns.

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

It's obvious none of you people know nuttin about co doc, plenty of BRONCO fans, but they jus fans, knock it off

luckyruthland
luckyruthland

He was actually wrongly convicted for that crime too how can a person be at two places at one time. It's crazy how people are quick to judge someone just because you read or herd it somewhere

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

No worries I'm not tryin to get you or no1 to sympathize wit Willie, everyone has an opinion, so you are right, no1 has to shut the hell up.

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

Stanley you talk real tufff on the internet fella, if some of willies friends did wanna get fucked up or however you put it, is yo scary ass gonna do it? UR A JOKE BUDDY and an internet coward

stanley1
stanley1

@luckyruthland Sure....all of it was "wrongly convicted". What a fine upstanding citizen Willie was. Baby mama?

stanley1
stanley1

@glwrightsr76 Most people who aren't enablers, apologists, and frankly, care about what happens in their communities, judge people harshly who harm others. Apparently, as long as someone's your homeboy, any actions they commit, including destroying lives, get excused. And people like you wonder why their communities are in tatters.

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

NO WORRIES FELLA, WE ALL PEOPLE KNOW OUR CONSEQUENCES IN LIFE. RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG. AT THE END OF THE DAY, I COULD CARE LESS WATCHU OR THE NEXT PERSON THINK. YOU ARE A VERY JUDGEMENTAL PERSON, YOU DON'T KNOW ME, I'M NOT A GANG BANGER AND FAR FROM A PUSSY BUT YEAH WILLIE IS MY HOMEBOY

stanley1
stanley1

@glwrightsr76 Ah, so you're part of the disease contributing to the destruction in our communities. Good for you, bro....I bet you feel pretty good about that. That's some stand-up shit right there. No wonder that POS Clark is your homeboy.

glwrightsr76
glwrightsr76

STANLEY ALOT OF GANG BANGERS ARE PUSSIES, IF U WOULD LIKE 2 MEET 1 THAT'S NOT, I'M WIT THAT (REALLY),

stanley1
stanley1

@glwrightsr76 If it was man to man without a gun, i'd love to. But you and I both know that these bangers are pussies with guns and it would never happen. You're probably one, too. People like you get handled and then come back with a gun and your boys because you're cowards. But yeah, you're so tough because you and your boys bang around your hood with numbers and guns, then just pull the trigger and become just another idiot statistic behind bars. Yeah, real manly shit there, dude. Been there, seen it, done it. You're a dime a dozen.

 
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