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Reliving a period of pure evil

I and a handful of others relived a period that saw this region come face-to-face with pure evil last week as a television crew from Jupiter Entertainment came to town to shoot an episode of the popular ‘˜Snapped’ series on the Donald Clark murder. This was not like HBO’s crew that shot ‘˜Sharp Objects’ or the throngs of folks from Marvel Studios who were in the area shooting ‘˜The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. This was shot by a cameraman and a sound technician, two hip young guys, in the foyer of an Airbnb in a housing development on Hwy. 36 not far from the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Center. The hipsters were shocked to learn Georgia’s death row and supermax prison were right down the street and, not too long ago, a murder occurred right around the corner from where they were working. As some technical issues were solved, I related to them stories of the five executions I have witnessed at the prison. I could tell they had doubts about my contention the departures of these men were far more humane than those of their victims and the process itself very clinical. Meanwhile, I wondered if this was a popular Airbnb destination or just a side gig for the owner. I only saw glimpse beyond the foyer but it seemed to be a very nice home. Though she should be, Jennifer Clark is not on death row. On Nov. 19, 2008, assisted by Michael Yost, she bashed in the head of her husband Donald with a metal baseball bat. The two of them wrapped his head in two plastic bags and the easily manipulated Yost discarded it in a Redbone cornfield. The body was found about 300 yards from his mother’s trailer on Christmas Eve. Jennifer Clark was nine months pregnant at the time. Yost was the father. Clark banked on her pregnancy to help keep her out of jail. She repeatedly told what became known as ‘˜The Story’, her scripted version of events of Donald’s disappearance. She feigned innocence, saying a woman in her condition could not have committed the crime. She embellished the story by having Donald’s young sons call his cell phone leaving message telling him how much they missed him and asking him to please come home. Over time, her lies unraveled as lies always do. Yost entered a guilty plea, got life with the possibility of parole and agreed to testify against Jennifer. She went to trial and testified in her own defense. Under cross-examination, her temper flashed and the jury got to see her true temperament up close and personal. They deliberated only 40 minutes before finding her guilty on multiple charges. Judge Tommy Wilson sentenced her to life plus 60 years. Those of us who were interviewed for the show sat in a metal chair which faced another metal chair. In it was a laptop with a video stream of the interviewer. I tried to impress upon her the vast depravity that lives inside this woman. The state supreme court recently upheld her conviction and sentence so she will be an old woman when she gets out of prison if she ever does. Still, for some reason, I don’t think we have heard the last of Jennifer Clark.

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