Recently fired Austin Police Officer VonTrey Clark is back on U.S. soil – and facing charges of capital murder for the death of Samantha Dean.
Clark, 32, was terminated from his position with APD on Thursday, July 23, after an internal affairs investigation concluded that he’d failed to provide pertinent financial information to IA; maintained association with known felons and, as Police Chief Art Acevedo put it, “people believed to be involved in criminal activity”; and skipped out on a request to report to IA on July 18. All three violations came in connection to the potential role he played in the murder of 29-year-old Samantha Dean, a Bastrop resident and crimes victim counselor with the Kyle Police Department who, at the time of her death, was pregnant with a baby Clark believed was his child. APD also learned shortly after realizing that he was no longer complying with Internal Affairs that he boarded a plane bound for Jakarta, Indonesia, a nation that does not currently have an extradition treaty with the United States,on July 17, with a stop first in Tokyo.
Clark had been on paid administrative leave since Dean’s body was found with three gunshot wounds to the head behind a vacant shopping center east of Bastrop in early February. The officer, who has a wife, had been engaged in a six or seven-year on-and-off sexual relationship with Dean and believed he was the father of her unborn child. A May search of Clark’s home produced documentation that indicated Clark urged Dean to get an abortion for the child, saying he believed “his life would be ruined” if she had their baby. It was also revealed, through interviews with Dean’s co-workers in Kyle, that Dean had forewarned Clark would be responsible if she ever turned up dead.
An order signed Wed., Sept. 2, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane indicates that Clark was formally charged with capital murder by a Bastrop District Court on July 21. He also been charged with unlawfully fleeing the country to avoid prosecution, according to FBI Special Agent Justin Noble.
The paperwork doesn’t make clear whether it’s believed Clark fired the gun that put the three bullets into Dean’s skull (there have been reports that Clark offered $5,000 to the individual responsible), though what’s clear is that he was engaged in some awfully shady activity. A disciplinary memo issued by Acevedo at the time of his termination indicates that Clark and three others – Kevin Watson, Kyla Fisk, and Freddie Smith – purchased pre-paid disposable phones “for the sole purpose of facilitating the murders of Dean and her unborn child.” Those phones were last used at the time of the murders in the exact area where Dean was found. Four days later, a different phone was used to send a text message from a Bastrop location to an APD civilian employee (and friend of Dean’s). “I fucking got her,” it read. “I am going to get him then I am coming for you. I will show you what a crisis is.” Video surveillance footage from a Walmart in Katy revealed Watson and an accomplice, Aaron Williams, purchased the phone that sent that message.
Clark was captured by Indonesian authorities in early August and boarded a flight bound for Hawaii early Wednesday morning. He’s expected back in Austin shortly before midnight.
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