Austin, TX — In 2015, TFTP reported on the case of Austin Police Officer VonTrey Clark who was suspected of hiring a hitman to kill his pregnant ex-girlfriend because she refused to get an abortion, and he did not want to pay child support. For years, he refused to admit guilt. All that changed this month, however, and he finally pleaded guilty.
Clark was sentenced to life in prison this week for hiring a man to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Samantha Dean, after she refused to have an abortion. Since 2015, Clark maintained his innocence but finally pleaded guilty this month to avoid possible execution if convicted in a regular trial. He also waived his right to appeal the conviction, according to prosecutors.
According to a search warrant, obtained by KXAN at the time, police interviewed one of the suspects in Dean’s murder and discovered that Clark wanted “to pay someone $5,000 to kill Dean and her baby due to Dean wanting Clark to pay child support for the baby.”
The original suspect also told police that a man named Freddie Smith accepted Clark’s murder-for-hire job and killed Dean. It was also revealed that Smith attempted to make the murder look like a drug deal gone wrong, a plan that was allegedly handed down by Officer Clark.
On Feb. 4, 2015, Samantha Dean’s body was found with three gunshot wounds behind a vacant office building in Bastrop County. Dean, then a Kyle police crime victims counselor, was seven months pregnant with Clark’s child when she was killed.
Cellphone records, along with surveillance video taken from the scene of the crime, allowed police to link the suspects together, and gather enough evidence to name Clark as a suspect.
Clark, who was 32 at the time, then fled to Indonesia, but was finally extradited later that year.
As Oxygen.com reports, Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz called it a “rather anticlimactic” conclusion to the high-profile case.
“There were no real winners, just lots of loss, you know?” Goertz told Oxygen.com. “Hopefully it helps the victims with the healing process.”
“This was a particularly heinous and utterly heartbreaking crime — to execute a woman and your own unborn daughter just because she wanted to give birth to your baby is beyond comprehension,” Goertz said in an earlier statement to the press.
In his confession, which has since been made public in court files, Clark had no problem admitting he paid the man $5,000 to murder this poor woman.
“She did not want to terminate the pregnancy even though I wanted her to,” Clark wrote in the confession, read aloud in the courtroom last week. “I felt the pregnancy threatened my existing family.”
Clark admitted to enlisting the suspect mentioned above, Kevin Watson, to help him find Freddie Smith and have him murder Dean.
“We made plans to kill Samantha and communicated the details over burner phones purchased by Watson,” Clark wrote. “When it became clear that neither of us could kill her ourselves, Watson connected me with Freddie Smith, who agreed to kill and did kill Samantha Dean in exchange for a fee.”
As Oxygen reports, Watson and Smith have both also been indicted in Dean’s murder. Watson pleaded guilty to murder in September and is expected to spend 35 years in prison. However, part of his plea agreement stipulates he must first testify against Smith, who’s believed to have been the triggerman in Dean’s slaying. A trial date hasn’t yet been set for Smith’s case, according to officials.
“The one person that I can turn to for moral advice or support is gone, thanks to you,” Taylor Dean, the victim’s sister said in court on Monday. “You stole my favorite person.
“But that’s not all. You stole an innocent child, you stole my niece. It’s incredible that someone so small could bring so much joy,” she went on. “You stole our future memories, too.”
“God was offering you the opportunity to do the right think and find love through a little cherub that would have softened your soul,” Samantha’s mother Kimberly Dean told Clark on Monday. “Madeline (their unborn child) was your chance to make things better. I know she would have loved you unconditionally. Yet you missed that opportunity and you chose to kill her.”