By Ed Runyan
The jury deliberated only about 75 minutes Friday before finding Richard Clark, 40, guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Dwayne Hickman, 49, in Hickman’s Williamsburg Street Northwest home.
Clark kept his head down and didn’t react when the guilty verdict was read. He also didn’t react when Judge Ronald Rice read the guilty verdict to aggravated robbery.
Judge Rice, of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, will sentence Clark at 11 a.m. Sept. 26.
Prosecutors will seek a sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.
Clark, who was a tattoo artist and lived at various places, including at Hickman’s house, has an extensive criminal record in addition to the Hickman murder and robbery.
Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, who tried the case with fellow assistant prosecutor Gabe Wildman, said the motive for the murder apparently was robbery since Clark was convicted of the aggravated robbery for taking Hickman’s car, wallet and guns.
Police said they found Hickman dead of 11 stab wounds and four lacerations in his bathroom early March 25 after relatives asked police to check on him.
The Trumbull County coroner later estimated that Hickman had been dead for between one and three days by then. Hickman had last been seen alive at his house March 20. Clark also was at the house that day.
Police found Clark later March 25 at a house where he was staying on Maryland Street, unconscious from a heroin overdose.
They found a pair of pants at the Maryland Street address with Hickman’s blood, along with guns belonging to Hickman and his relatives and Hickman’s car and wallet.
Two of Hickman’s sisters and two friends were in the courtroom to hear the verdict, but they had no comment afterward.
Clark’s attorneys with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office did not call any witnesses Friday morning when the trial resumed. The jury began to deliberate in the early afternoon.