Suspect in killing of Broncos’ Williams maintains innocence in letters
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado “-Willie D. Clark’s propensity to put pen to paper may have helped indict him in the murder of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.
A letter Clark wrote from the Federal Detention Center was key to the indictment against him in the New Year’s Day 2007 shooting of Williams after an altercation at a Denver nightclub.
But in more than a half dozen letters to the Rocky Mountain News over the past 14 months, Clark repeatedly made the case for his innocence.
The 25-year-old insisted he was indicted and jailed on a federal drug conspiracy charge in July 2007 so the government could railroad him ” and fellow gang members ” to talk about the Williams case.
He urged the newspaper to question authorities about their tactics.
“You know as well as I know the only reason why I am facing the federal charge is because the state could not place me or them other 2 guys in that truck that they say was used in the death of Darrent Williams, and that’s a well known fact!” Clark stated in a one-page, typed letter dated Sept. 24, 2007.
Prosecutors, questioned at the time, stood by the drug charges.
In the letters, all mailed from the Federal Detention Center in Littleton, Clark also talked about growing up in Denver, his family, and how they have been affected by the publicity surrounding the case.
The letters, most signed with the words “God Bless,” are a sharp contrast to the one that may contribute to Clark’s undoing.
This spring, a source approached the Rocky with a letter he said he intercepted while being held at the detention center.
The source, whom the Rocky is not identifying because it could put him in danger, said the letter was written by Clark.
In it, the writer said someone saw him shoot “D-Will,” a nickname for Williams.
The source said he wanted the letter publicized so he could get some or all of a $102,000 reward, and to finally give Williams’ family a sense of peace and closure.
He said he chose to contact the Rocky because Clark had told him he wrote to the newspaper, and the source knew the paper could compare the handwriting.
The source also shared the letter with prosecutors.
According to Wednesday’s indictment, detectives confronted Clark about the letter in August, and Clark admitted he wrote it.
The same day detectives visited Clark to talk about the letter, Clark wrote again to the Rocky.
He said the so-called admission letter was “fabricated.” While he confirmed the handwriting was his, he said the source cut and pasted from other writings to concoct what appears to be a confession.
He accused the source of doing so to get the reward money.
“This is the key to $100,000 un-taxed,” Clark wrote. “So why not try it?”
The source denied Clark’s allegation.
Clark wrote to the Rocky for the first time in August 2007, seven months after police called Clark a person of interest in Williams’ killing.
The newspaper had just published a story updating the case, and Clark wanted to tell “my side of the ‘true’ story.”
The following month, he penned a three page “letter to the public,” which he also sent to the newspaper. He asked that the paper reprint it.
In single-spaced block writing, Clark said he grew up in a rough Denver neighborhood “infested with gangs.”
He said he got into minor trouble but is not capable of taking another person’s life.
In a separate letter, Clark said his relatives had lost jobs because employers saw stories about his possible connection to the Williams murder.
The indictment announced Wednesday charges Clark with 39 counts, including first-degree murder.
It states that a witness saw Clark fire a gun into Williams’ limo, killing the 24-year-old cornerback.
In his letters, Clark claimed the witnesses against him in both the drug case and Williams case are trying to save their own skins or have a grudge against him.
“Please help me clear my name of these (sic) madness,” he wrote.
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