SUPREME COURT OF CA UNANIMOUSLY AFFIRMS DEATH PENALTY SENTENCE FOR MAN CONVICTED OF TWO SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER

Case # 94CF0821

Date: June 27, 2016

SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA UNANIMOUSLY AFFIRMS CONVICTION AND DEATH PENALTY SENTENCE FOR MAN CONVICTED OF TWO SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Supreme Court of California unanimously affirmed the conviction and death penalty sentence today for William Clinton Clark, who was found guilty by a jury on May 21, 1996, of two felony counts of murder with special circumstances for committing a murder during a burglary, while in the attempted commission of a robbery, murder of a witness for the purpose of preventing testimony in a criminal proceeding, murder while lying in wait, and multiple murders, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of second degree burglary, three felony counts of attempted second degree robbery, and sentencing enhancements for use of a dangerous or deadly weapon and serving five prior prison terms. The court today affirmed the conviction for all counts, including both counts of murder, and also affirmed the special circumstance findings concerning multiple murder, murder while lying in wait, and murder for the purpose of preventing testimony. The court also vacated the special circumstance allegations for committing a murder during a burglary and murder in the attempted commission of a robbery.

Murder of Kathy Lee in 1991
Between August 1991 and September 1991, Clark and Ardell Williams surveilled a CompUSA electronics store in the Fountain Valley Mall. Williams had previously served as Clark’s accomplice in stealing from another computer store. Clark discussed plans with Williams to commit a crime involving the CompUSA store.

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on Oct. 18, 1991, after the CompUSA store had closed, co-defendant Nokkuwa Ervin entered the store armed with a gun and approached three employees who were still inside. Ervin handcuffed the employees in the men’s restroom. At approximately 10:30 p.m., Ervin shot and murdered Kathy Lee, the mother of an employee who had arrived at the store to pick up her son. A Fountain Valley Police Department officer, who was on patrol near the store, responded quickly to the scene and arrested Ervin.

Murder of Ardell Williams in 1994
In 1994, Williams was expected to testify as a witness against Clark at his trial for the murder of Kathy Lee. While Clark was in jail awaiting trial, he conspired with co-defendant Antoinette Yancey, who was not in custody, to have her murder Williams. Yancey got in contact with Williams by using a different name and scheduled a job interview at a company in Gardena. On the morning of March 13, 1994, Williams went to the interview and was shot and murdered. In a separate trial, Yancey was convicted of murdering Williams.

This case was originally prosecuted by then-Assistant District Attorney Richard M. King, who is now a Superior Court judge. The California Attorney General’s Office handled the appeal for this case.

To read the court’s opinion, please visit https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S066940.PDF or our website at www.orangecountyda.org and select, “The People v. William Clinton Clark – Supreme Court of California affirms death penalty,” in Reports under the Reports pull-down menu.