Thousands of files shared in Samantha Dean murder case

Samantha Dean

Bastrop, TEXAS (KXAN) – There is still no trial date set nearly a year after a former Austin police officer pleaded not guilty in the murder of his one-time girlfriend, Samantha Dean. Wednesday, at a brief status hearing for capital murder suspect VonTrey Clark, Special Prosecutor Jane Starnes told the judge a hard drive containing 5 terrabytes of video, computer and phone forensic material has been shared with defense attorney Bristol Myers with ‘more to come.’

One terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes. For comparison, a basic iPhone 7 can store 32 gigabytes of data.

Attorneys told Judge Carson Campbell this was the beginning of the end of the discovery phase which began close to a year ago. At the time, prosecutors said they expected to call 100 witnesses whenever a trial date is set.

Clark himself was not in court Wednesday, although the mother and four supporters of Samantha Dean were.

Clark has been in the Bastrop County jail since last September after federal agents brought him back from Bali, where he had gone in the months after investigators began looking into his involvement in the February 2015 death shooting death of Dean. Her body was found outside a Bastrop County shopping plaza.

Clark, now 33, told investigators Dean was the mother of his unborn child. Court records show Clark offered to pay someone $5,000 to have Dean killed. He

Samantha Dean
Samantha Dean

pleaded not guilty last November 19.

After Clark’s indictment, APD Chief Art Acevedo indefinitely suspended the one-time patrol officer pending the outcome of the murder charge. Acevedo concluded Clark had been absent without leave from APD when he left the United States the previous July for Indonesia.

Also indicted in the alleged murder-for-hire scheme is Clark’s boyhood friend Kevin Watson. He is also in the Bastrop County jail. No upcoming hearings are scheduled for Watson, who was arraigned last March. He was extradited from the Harris County jail where he was waiting hearings on unrelated drug charges.

No further details of the case have emerged after Judge Campbell sealed all records last October, including the grand jury’s indictments. He also imposed a gag order on anyone associated with the case from speaking publicly.

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