Mother, daughter Clarks sentenced in pot, pan melee

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


The mother and daughter involved in a 2011 melee where people were beaten with pots and pans have been sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, with one of the women heading to prison for a year.

Shalena Clark, 38, and her daughter Rayshawnda Clark, 20, appeared Wednesday before Judge James C. Evans. Both Clarks previously entered into agreements with prosecutors where they agreed to plead guilty to three counts of aggravated assault.

They could each have been sentenced to up to 41/2 years in prison.

Rayshawnda Clark is going to prison for a year. Judge Evans placed Shalena Clark on probation.

A witness at an earlier court hearing described a day full of violent episodes between the Clarks, Darlesha Jones and three other women beginning in the early hours of July 11, 2011, and culminating at the Brooklyn Avenue home where the Clarks and Jones lived.

The three listed victims went to the home to speak with the women about the ongoing feud, but a fight broke out.

The witness said one of her friends was beaten with pots and pans and then sprayed with oven cleaner.

The witness said one of the Clark women pulled out a small silver gun and pointed it at the head of her friend and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire.

One of the women pointed the same gun at a crowd of people and pulled the trigger, but again the gun did not fire.

Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court Rayshawnda Clark is the woman who handled the firearm. She asked to court to send the woman to prison for an unspecified amount of time.

Atty. John P. Laczko, representing Rayshawnda Clark, called the prosecutor’s request for prison time ridiculous, noting the victims were participants in the fight and also came to his client’s home, where the fight took place.

Rayshawnda Clark, who is the mother of a 4-year-old child, apologized, saying the whole thing could have been prevented.

Judge Evans sentenced her to one year in prison on each of the three charges to which she pleaded. The sentences will be served concurrently.

McLaughlin recommended probation for Shalena Clark, noting her lack of a criminal record and health concerns.

Atty. Michael Kivlighan, representing Shalena Clark, said the situation involved a considerable amount of provocation from the victims.

Shalena Clark also apologized for her role in the fight.

Judge Evans sentenced her to two years’ probation with day reporting. He also ordered her to begin seeking her General EducationalDevelopment diploma while on probation.

Jones, 19, Shalena Clark’s other daughter, was sentenced to probation earlier this month for her role in the melee.

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