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Friday, 12 March 2010

Suspected gang member Willie Clark was found guilty of murder in the 2007


12:17 |

Suspected gang member Willie Clark was found guilty of murder in the 2007 drive-by shooting death of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.Clark showed no emotion Thursday in Denver as the verdict was read, but he leaned back and looked at the ceiling once the jury was dismissed. He gave a small smile to relatives before he left the courtroom in handcuffs.Rosalind Williams, the mother of late Broncos CB Darrent Williams, wipes away tears Thursday in Denver after a man was convicted in her son's 2007 shooting death.Clark faces life in prison at his April 30 sentencing hearing.Williams' mother, Rosalind, wept as she left the courtroom."We'll never know what happened that night," she said later. "This is a start, to clean up the streets here and hopefully everywhere else."There was no immediate word on a possible appeal, but defense attorney Darren Cantor told three sobbing people in the courtroom, "Try to breathe, OK? That's what appeals are for." Cantor told reporters that Clark's family was upset and didn't want to speak to reporters.The jury deliberated for a day and a half after an 11-day trial, then convicted Clark on all 21 counts that he faced, including murder for Williams' death and attempted murder for the 16 other people who were in a Hummer stretch limo with the cornerback."Nothing can ever bring Darrent Williams back or ease the suffering for Rosalind and her grandchildren. But after three long years, it is very gratifying to see closure brought to this case," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said in a statement released by the team Thursday. "This process has been extremely difficult for the Williams family, his friends and teammates, this community, and the entire Denver Broncos organization."I would like to praise the long and hard work of the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office," Bowlen added. "I also want to thank the Denver community for the overwhelming support that both the Williams family and the Broncos have received during this unimaginable tragedy.

"Darrent's legacy will live on for all of us in the Broncos organization, and the outstanding work done each day at the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center is a tribute to his impact on this community. Our hearts continue to go out to the entire Williams family."Security was tight throughout the trial, and 13 armed sheriff's deputies stood in the courtroom as the verdict was read. Clark declined to testify, citing threats to himself and his family. Cantor said gang members had threatened to turn Clark into "Swiss cheese" if he said anything in court.Williams was killed at about 2 a.m. on New Year's Day 2007. Prosecutors said Clark fired the fatal shots from an SUV that pulled up beside the rented limo."It was this man, who indiscriminately, with universal maliciousness ... took it upon himself to unload his .40-caliber handgun into that limousine full of innocent people," Chief Deputy District Attorney Timothy Twining said in his closing argument earlier this week.
Clark was angry over an altercation, involving his friends and friends of Williams, that occurred in a nightclub just before the shooting, prosecutors said. A member of Williams' group had sprayed champagne on New Year's partiers.


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