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Thread: Cleveland Clark - Georgia Death Row

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    Cleveland Clark - Georgia Death Row







    Facts of the Crime:

    Convicted as a hit man of a brutal racially-motivated killing in 2000. Cleveland Clark was found guilty in the murder of 22-year-old Union City mother Sparkle Rai. Clark was hired by Rai’s father-in-law, Chiman Rai, to kill the young woman. Chiman Rai, 68, a native of India, didn’t want his son married to an African-American woman, prosecutors said. The elder Rai was convicted of conspiring to kill his son’s wife, and was sentenced to life without parole. Sparkle had only been married for a month to Rajeeve “Ricky” Rai when she was murdered. Prosecutors say Rai paid $10,000 to have Sparkle killed. A business acquaintance, Herbert Green, teamed up with a friend, Willie Fred Evans. Evans reputedly recruited Clark. Green and Evans agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for probation. Sparkle’s murder had gone unsolved for six years until witnesses came forward identifying Clark as the killer.

    Clark was sentenced to death on July 2, 2009.

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    July 2, 2009

    Hit Man Gets Death Penalty

    ATLANTA -- Convicted killer Cleveland Clark was sentenced to death Thursday, hours after he unleashed a tirade at the Fulton County Courthouse.

    Earlier in the day, Clark, 52, slammed the defense table and screamed obscenities as prosecutor Kellie Hill made her closing arguments. Last week, the same jury convicted Clark of killing Sparkle Rai for $10,000 in a murder-for-hire scheme financed by Rai's father-in-law.

    Channel 2 Action News reporter Richard Elliot was in the courtroom Thursday when the verdict was read and said Clark showed no emotion as the judge read the death sentence. Because of Clark's earlier outbursts, the judge did not allow him in the courtroom when the jury read their decision. Clark was brought in later, in handcuffs and shackles, and the judge read to decision to him.

    Elliot said Clark looked over at the jury from time to time as the judge announced their decision.

    District Attorney Paul Howard was also in the courtroom as the verdict was read.

    During his earlier outbursts, Hill froze in mid-sentence as Clark flailed his arms and shouted obscenities for more than a minute.

    Clark's stunned lawyer sat in silence and then gave his client a dismissive wave.

    Deputies moved in quickly and surrounded Clark as the tirade continued.

    "Mr. Clark, be careful, sir," warned Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford.

    Clark's lawyer stood and asked the judge for a mistrial even as his client filled the air with curses and threats.

    The deputies escorted the ranting Clark from the courtroom.

    The jury was taken out of the courtroom.

    Twenty minutes later, Clark was brought back into the court. Bedford asked Clark if he could behave during the rest of the proceedings.

    "I don't want to be here and listen to these lies," screamed Clark. "I'm going to raise hell again. I do not want to hear this s___. I just don't want to hear it," Clark shouted.

    The judge granted Clark's wish and ordered him out of the court for the rest of the closing arguments.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19927528/detail.html

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