The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied on for statistical or legal purposes.
CLARK, Ronald (W/M)
DC # 812974
Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County, Case #90-10067
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable David C. Wiggins
Trial Attorney: Henry Davis, Esq.
Attorney, Direct Appeal: W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Harry P. Brody – Registry
Date of Offense: 01/12/90
Date of Sentence: 02/22/91
Circumstances of Offense:
Ronald Clark was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Ronald Willis on 01/12/90.
According to testimony given at trial by John Hatch, the co-defendant, he and Ronald Clark were hitchhiking to Jacksonville on 01/12/90. Clark was carrying a pistol that he had been restoring, and the two men were shooting at various targets along the roadside while waiting for a ride. Ronald Willis saw the two men hitchhiking and pulled over, offering them a lift. Once in the truck, Clark whispered to Hatch that he was going to steal the truck. Clark ordered Willis to pull over, and when Willis got out of the truck, Clark shot him seven or eight times. Clark pushed Willis’ body into the middle seat and then Clark drove to a more remote location. Clark took Willis’ money and boots, and then dumped his body in a ditch. Clark and Hatch proceeded with their night, going to a restaurant and visiting an ex-girlfriend. Later that night, the two men returned to retrieve Willis’ body. They took the body to the Nassau County Sound Bridge, weighted it, and then dumped it in the water.
Clark and Hatch continued to use Willis’ stolen truck, and only when Willis’ ex-wife became worried about his sudden disappearance did she drive around looking for him. Willis’ ex-wife located his truck at a motel, and Clark and Hatch were identified as the men driving it. Willis’ ex-wife notified police, but Clark and Hatch ran away before they arrived.
Clark and Hatch fled to South Carolina. Hatch returned to Nassau County where he was arrested and Clark was apprehended in South Carolina on 02/07/90.
John Hatch agreed to testify against Ronald Clark in exchange for a 25-year sentence. Hatch was sentenced on 02/01/91, and was released on 04/01/01, after serving only 10 years.
Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:
Lewd, Lascivious Child U/16
Mur/Premed. Or Att.
On 10/29/89, Ronald Clark, John Hatch, Brian Corbett, and Charles McElroy Carter were driving all around Jacksonville and the neighboring areas. The men had been drinking together throughout the night. When Clark pulled over off the side of the road to allow the men to go to the bathroom, he retrieved a single shot shotgun from this truck and shot Carter in the chest. The blow was received at such an angle that it only damaged the chest muscles and the collarbone. Clark reloaded the gun and fired a shot in Carter’s mouth, killing him. Clark rolled the body into a ditch, taking his money and his boots. Police arrested Clark for the homicide after being implicated by Corbett during an interrogation. On 11/20/90, Clark was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.
02/07/90 Defendant arrested in South Carolina.
03/22/90 Defendant indicted on:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Armed Robbery
08/23/90 Amended indictment filed.
08/27/90 Defendant entered a plea of “not guilty”.
01/24/91 The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts.
01/25/91 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 11 to 1 majority, voted for the death penalty.
02/22/91 Defendant was sentenced as followed:
Count I: First-Degree Murder - Death
Count II: Armed Robbery - Life
Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal
613 So. 2d 412
03/06/91 Appeal filed.
12/24/92 FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence.
03/04/93 Rehearing denied.
04/05/93 Mandate issued.
United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari
510 U.S. 836
05/26/93 Petition filed.
10/04/93 Petition denied.
State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion
11/16/94 Motion filed.
11/01/95 Motion amended.
02/04/04 Motion amended.
01/31/06 Motion amended.
09/17/07 Motion denied.
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal
12/11/07 Appeal filed.
04/29/10 FSC affirmed denial of the 3.850 motion
05/20/10 Mandate issued
United States District Court, Middle District - Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
06/28/10 Petition filed.
Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:
Clark’s 3.850 Motion has been pending since 1994. An amended motion was filed on his behalf in early 1995, 2003 and 2005. This motion has been pending for 13 years thus far.
Clark filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 03/06/91. In his appeal, Clark did not raise any arguments regarding the guilt phase of the trial. Concerning the penalty phase, however, Clark contended that the trial court erred in allowing him to waive the presentation of mitigating factors, in considering two similar aggravating factors separately, and in allowing hearsay testimony about a prior murder conviction. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence on 12/24/92.
On 05/26/93, Clark filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 10/04/93.
On 11/16/94, Clark filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court. Amended motions were filed on 11/01/95, 02/04/04, and 01/31/06. The motion was denied on 09/17/07.
On 12/11/07, Clark filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the 3.850 motion on 04/29/10.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
02/27/97 30 FIGHTING UNION C. I.
04/26/00 0 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
12/05/00 30 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
07/23/01 30 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
09/27/01 30 MAIL VIOLATIONS FSP
11/08/02 30 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
11/13/02 30 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
01/16/03 180 REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST FSP
12/02/05 30 MAIL VIOLATIONS UNION C.I.
01/15/02 – ew
01/16/02 – approved – ws
10/20/10 – updated – jjk