A former Austin police officer has pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend and their unborn child after she refused to abort the pregnancy.
VonTrey Clark was sentenced to life in prison for capital murder in the 2015 death of his girlfriend, Samantha Dean, who was seven-months pregnant with their child at the time, NBC affiliate KXAN reports.
Clark reversed his initial not guilty plea to guilty in court on Monday (Dec. 16), months before the high-profile murder case was set to go to trial.
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As part of the plea agreement, Clark will be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Dean was 29 years old at the time of her murder.
Her body was found with three gunshot wounds behind a vacant office building in Bastrop County, Texas, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Clark had a family with another woman. He had an on-and-off relationship with Dean for about seven years, investigators said, and he demanded she get an abortion when he learned of the pregnancy.
When Dean refused, Clark hired two men to kill her for $5,000, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Investigators discovered Dean’s journal in her south Austin home during their search for clues leading to her killer and found entries describing her fear for her life and that Clark was “going to kill her.”
Dean was an employee of the Kyle Police Department in the victim services unit at the time of her death, KXAN reports.
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In July 2015, Clark was fired from the Austin Police Department after he fled to Bali, Indonesia, without permission to leave Travis County.
His attorneys said at the time that he was seeking medical attention for an undisclosed ailment, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
A month later, Clark was extradited back to the United States by federal agents. He was detained in the Bastrop County Jail and indicted on a capital murder charge that October — eight months after Dean’s body was found, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
“You stole my favorite person, someone I was lucky enough to know for 21 and a half years. She was always one of my biggest cheerleaders,” Dean’s sister, Taylor Alexander Dean, said in court Monday (Dec. 16) directly to Clark, KXAN reports. “She was my comedian, a person to always laugh and make me smile. You stole an innocent child. You stole my niece — Madeline was cherished — I valued the moments I could sit and read to her and wanting to feel her kick.”
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