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| Crime |

Willie Clark associates' guilty pleas: What were they pleading to?

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Can any conclusions be drawn from the plea deals accepted by two associates of Willie Clark, who's been sentenced to more time than he could possibly serve for murdering Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007? Maybe -- but prosecutor Tim Twining says doing so may require reading between the lines.

Kataina "Markie" Jackson-Keeling, 21, and Mario Anderson, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a count each of accessory to perjury. The men were originally charged with two counts of perjury each, as well as one count each of attempting to influence a public servant, for lying to the grand jury investigating William's murder. Both men told the grand jury they knew nothing about the crime, while prosecutors say the men were witnesses, if not participants.

In pleading guilty, Twining points out, "They have said to the court, 'I assisted by buddy, who I knew was suspected of committing perjury.' In a backhanded way, they're saying, 'My buddy committed perjury and I tried to help him get away.'"

So in essence, both men admitted to helping the other dodge perjury charges. But is that the same as an outright confession that they lied to the grand jury and played a role in Williams' murder? "Candidly, I think that's subject to some debate," says Twining, who was part of the team that prosecuted Clark.

Click here to read Anderson's plea agreement. And here to read about how the police solved Williams' murder -- without Jackson-Keeling and Anderson's help. And, lastly, here to read Westword's daily coverage of Clark's trial, at which Jackson-Keeling and Anderson refused to testify. Both men were sent to jail for contempt.

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