The appeal of Stephanie Louise Clark conviction for second-degree murder was successful. She had claimed self-defense when she fatally shot her boyfriend.
In 2016, Stephanie Louise Clark fatally shot her lover, Ronald Thomas, and was later charged with murder.
Clark said that she shot Thomas out of self-defense after years of suffering from his physical and psychological abuse.
The problems faced by victims of domestic violence who take revenge on their abusers were highlighted by Clark’s case, which attracted considerable media attention.
Clark’s supporters contended that she shouldn’t have been penalized for protecting herself because Thomas had a history of domestic violence.
Clark was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2017 instead of murder, which entails a lesser punishment. She was given a 15-year prison term with a chance at release.
Because a judge determined that the jury in Clark’s initial trial had not received proper instructions regarding self-defense, the judge granted Clark a new trial in 2019.
What happened to Stephanie Louise Clark?
A lady in Maple Grove, Minnesota, claimed that her boyfriend had hit her, but the prosecution contended that what she did in retaliation constituted murder. A jury favored it.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said that Stephanie Louise Clark had been found guilty of murdering her lover Don’Juan Tymone Butler.
According to the criminal complaint, Clark sobbed and informed a neighbor, “He’s dead.” She was lying on the ground, and that neighbor was trying to console her.
Clark claimed, “I shot him because he hit me.”
Officers said that Clark stated that Butler’s attack on her had damaged her back and that she had a bruise on the left side of her middle back.
Clark told detectives that Butler challenged her about talking to another man in a store after her Miranda rights were read to her.
She said that her partner had struck her in the back and stomach. According to the criminal complaint, the altercation lasted even after she went to pick up her child and came back to the House, leading to Clark shooting Butler multiple times.
Stephanie Louise Clark Wins In Death Of Allegedly Abusive Boyfriend
In connection with the death of Don’Juan Butler, 30, Stephanie Louise Clark, 32, was convicted guilty of second-degree murder in March 2020.
She asserted that she shot Butler out of concern that he would continue to torture her and kill her or her 5-year-old son.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the appeal concentrated on whether Clark was in “imminent” danger when she shot Butler.
When the jury inquired about the legal term “imminent” during deliberations, the court spelled “immediate” wrongly, according to a three-judge appeals panel’s unanimous ruling on Thursday.
Butler had abused and intimidated Clark, including by holding a gun to her head, according to the appeals court, but she wasn’t being abusive at the time she shot Clark.
According to Clark’s testimony, she shot Butler out of concern that he would harm her son or kill her. The abuse increased in severity and was happening almost daily.
She claimed he yelled at her, shoved her, kicked her, slapped her, and frequently pranced around with loaded weapons. She also claimed she couldn’t leave the House without his consent. When he was angry, he would have Clark kneel before striking her.
Given Butler’s violent behavior toward Clark, the jury “may have found that Clark was in imminent danger of serious bodily injury, even if such danger was not current,” according to the verdict.
A new trial will be held in Clark’s case if Hennepin County prosecutors decide not to appeal the decision.