News

Clark pleads guilty to Black Diamond murder

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

One of the Plateau's most brutal crimes was resolved in a King County courtroom last week, when David Wayne Clark pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

All that remains is sentencing, but prosecutors and the defense team have already agreed on a 22-year prison term for the Black Diamond man. The standard range for his crime is 20 to 29 1/2 years. He avoided the maximum term by agreeing to plead guilty, thus avoiding a trial.

"It was certainly a good disposition from our point of view," said Commander Chris Hurst of the Black Diamond Police Department.

Last week's plea was the near-final chapter in a story that began May 21, 2003, when, according to police, Clark stabbed girlfriend Sheila Sinclair to death.

The situation began unfolding about 12:15 a.m. that day, when Black Diamond police received a call about a domestic violence situation at the Cedar Brook Mobile Home Park. Officers found nothing out of the ordinary, because friends and relatives had already put Sinclair into a Ford Bronco and rushed her to Enumclaw Community Hospital.

Sinclair was alive and talking to relatives when they left Black Diamond, but was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Enumclaw police contacted Sinclair's family at the hospital and provided information to Black Diamond officers, who had not yet entered the trailer Sinclair and Clark shared. Phone calls to the trailer were not answered. Soon, the Black Diamond police made their way into the trailer, where they found Clark, surrounded by blood, on the kitchen floor. He had slash marks on his arms.

According to court documents, Clark told police he and Sinclair had been arguing and, finally, he stabbed her twice. Those documents state Sinclair had wounds on her hands consistent with someone defending herself.

Sinclair was able to leave the trailer and run about 150 feet to a relative's home and ask for help, Hurst said.

It was also noted two young boys, 8 and 3, lived with the couple. The younger child witnessed the assault, but the older child left the trailer when the argument began.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com

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