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We’ve not heard the last of Jennifer Clark

By Walter Geiger I had a bad feeling about Donald Clark almost as soon as I heard about his disappearance. Shortly after he vanished, I contacted Jennifer Clark to gather information and acquire a photo of Donald to go with print and online stories about his disappearance. Pictures routinely and necessarily accompany missing persons accounts but she wouldn’t give me one. I knew then something was wrong. I got the distinct impression she did not want her husband found. I knew deep down Donald was dead. After talking with his sister, Brenda Maddox, I was even more sure. The story took on a life of its own. We ran weekly updates on the search for Donald. Jennifer and her eventual codefendant, Michael Yost, could not lay low. They got arrested for breaking into cars and hogtying kids in the backyard. Jennifer complained about pre-trial publicity but she generated most of it. There was one thing after another. I called Jennifer again. She asked me to keep the conversation off the record then launched into ‘˜her story’ as it became known. With very little questioning from me, she weaved her elaborate tale. I didn’t believe it. I discussed it with investigators. They had heard the same tale, almost word for word, and did not believe it. We all agreed she was the killer but there was no proof. Then, just before Christmas, Donald’s wallet was found on Potts Pond Road. I watched as the search intensified. A lake was dragged. Cadaver sniffing dogs were brought in. Donald’s boots were found. So was the bat used to bash in his skull. Then on Christmas Eve, Donald’s body was found by sheriff Joe Buice in some brush at the edge of a cornfield in Redbone. I watched as the GBI rolled in to process the scene. I missed a holiday event with family. Jennifer and Michael went to jail. I covered their bond hearings and preliminary appearances. I was in court the day Michael pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Jennifer. Last week, he got his chance. Jennifer squirmed and smirked but showed no remorse as prosecutors and witnesses built the case against her. Then, she made the huge mistake of testifying in her own defense and the jury heard the same preposterous story we had all heard before. They didn’t believe it either, deliberating only 40 minutes before finding her guilty on all counts. Judge Tommy Wilson hammered Jennifer, sending her to prison for life plus an additional 60 years. Jennifer Clark is a violent sociopath with no capacity for telling the truth. She is evil personified. Her actions had devastating impact on three different families, her own included. Now she is locked away where she can do no more damage. She will be an elderly woman if and when she is ever released from prison. That is as it should be. But, I expect we have not heard the last of Jennifer Clark. She will get caught up in some drama in prison ‘“ an escape or suicide attempt, perhaps. Mark it down. At least Lamar County is rid of her and that is very good riddance indeed.

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