Clark to spend rest of life in prison for double murder

RICHARD CLARK JR., left, weeps Wednesday during his sentencing in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court. Clark, 65, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two people last year at the Carey Conservation Club.  (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

RICHARD CLARK JR., left, weeps Wednesday during his sentencing in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court. Clark, 65, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two people last year at the Carey Conservation Club. (Photo by Matthias Leguire) SEE VIDEO ON THIS PAGE

By RYAN DUNN
STAFF WRITER

UPPER SANDUSKY — Richard Clark Jr. will serve life in prison for a shooting spree last year that killed two people and terrorized several others inside a Carey clubhouse.

The 65-year-old rural Tiffin man, weeping at times, was sentenced Wednesday in Wyandot County

Common Pleas Court for two counts of aggravated murder.

Clark killed former girlfriend Cynthia Hawkinberry and her friend, Roger Fredritz, on Nov. 1.

Prosecutors on Wednesday outlined an 11-minute period, starting with the moment Clark entered the Carey Conservation and Sportsman’s Association clubhouse, and ending with his arrest following the shootings.

Surveillance footage showed Clark briefly speaking with Fredritz, 49, of rural Carey, and Hawkinberry, 49, of rural Tiffin, at about 9:20 p.m. He departed and returned moments later with a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

He shot both Fredritz and Hawkinberry multiple times, said William Latham, an investigator for the county prosecutor.

During the gunfire, Hawkinberry attempted to escape, and Clark dragged her back, Latham said. She tried to deflect his firearm as he pointed it toward a crowd of people, Latham said.

After the shootings, Clark called a relative and smoked a cigarette outside before his swift arrest, Latham said.

A twisted affection for Hawkinberry drove Clark’s actions, Prosecutor Jonathan Miller said.

“Your honor, this was not a crime of passion, this was a crime of possession,” Miller told Judge Kathleen Aubry.

Miller said Clark planned the crime and showed no genuine remorse afterward. Clark was found with 16 rounds of unused ammunition, he said.

Family members of Hawkinberry and Fredritz told the judge the two victims were loved, joyful and kind.

Clark repeatedly cried through the hearing and briefly apologized to those in attendance.

One of Clark’s supporters told the judge prior to sentencing that Clark was “over the moon” in love with Hawkinberry.

Clark led a law-abiding life prior to Nov. 1, said defense attorney Robert Grzybowski. Clark cannot explain his actions, but regrets using violence, Grzybowski said.

“He will always be judged by those actions, and he will always be accountable for those actions,” the defense attorney said.

Judge Aubry ordered Clark to serve life in prison for each murder count, without the possibility of parole.

She said Hawkinberry’s relatives had discouraged her relationship with Clark, and Clark had proved them right.

Clark is a “selfish, cowardly” person who executed a woman he claimed to care about, the judge said.

“Had the defendant ever really loved Cynthia, he could not have killed her,” Aubry said.

Dunn: 419-427-8417
Send an E-mail to Ryan Dunn
Twitter: @CourierRyan

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