BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — The defense team for the former Austin police officer charged with capital murder in the death of a woman he said was the mother of his unborn child is fighting for more time before trial.
Attorneys for Vontrey Jamal Clark filed a motion for continuance asking for a one year delay in the trial and in a hearing Wednesday afternoon, Judge Carson Campbell granted it.
An order filed earlier this month indicated a timeline showing jury selection would begin on Feb. 6, 2018 with opening statements in the case starting on March 19, 2018. But with the continuance, jury selection won’t occur until February of 2019. During the hearing, prosecutors said they didn’t want the continuance and only asked for it to be reset for some time between May and fall of 2018.
Clark has pleaded not guilty in the murder of his girlfriend, Samantha Dean. Court records suggest Clark offered to pay someone $5,000 to have her killed. Court documents also revealed Clark wanted Dean to have an abortion.
An autopsy showed Dean was seven months pregnant at the time of her death.
After an aggressive encounter with Clark, Dean told co-workers at the Kyle Police Department that Clark would be the prime suspect if she ever turned up dead. Dean’s body was found on Feb. 4, 2015 outside a Bastrop County shopping plaza.
No action had been taken in the case in 2017 until September when, according to court records, prosecutors and defense lawyers met about evidence that needs to be tested. That evidence includes DNA testing on floor mats believed to be from Dean’s car, along with testing on underwear found during the investigation.
The Bastrop County Commissioners Court budgeted $200,000 in the next fiscal year for Clark’s case. So far this year, the county has spent more than $100,000.
Clark has been in the Bastrop County Jail since September 2015 after federal agents extradited him from Bali, Indonesia.