|For Immediate Release
Case # 13CF0177
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
THIRD-STRIKER EXTRADITED TO ORANGE COUNTY FOR 1990 TUSTIN COLD CASE STABBING-MURDER OF ROOMMATE
SANTA ANA – A Third-Striker charged with the 1990 cold case stabbing-murder of his roommate was extradited back to Orange County today to face the murder charges. Charles Lee Clark, 74, Beavercreek, OR, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. Clark also has two previous Strike convictions for a robbery in 1975 and 1990. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The defendant is being held on $5 million bail and an arraignment date is to be determined.
In early 1990, while out on bail for a federal bank robbery, Clark is accused of meeting Kathleen Witkowski. He is accused of moving into her Tustin apartment and renting a room. In the days prior to Nov. 18, 1990, then-52-year-old Clark is accused of arguing with 38-year-old Witkowski about the defendant using the victim’s car. On Nov. 18, 1990, Clark is accused of stabbing Witkowski to death with a knife. On Nov. 23, 1990, the victim’s body was found by Tustin Police Department (TPD) officers.
Several days after the murder, Clark is accused of driving the victim’s car to Las Vegas, where it was found by police Jan. 17, 1991.
In 2011, TPD submitted items from the crime scene to the Orange County Crime Laboratory (OCCL) for analysis. OCCL found a DNA sample and entered it into the local, state, and national DNA databases, which linked Clark to the murder. TPD was notified and the investigation was re-opened. Clark, who lives in Oregon, was charged for the crime and was extradited to Orange County today, Jan. 23, 2013, to face the murder charges.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8492 or TPD Sgt. Robert Wright at
Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.