By Ed Runyan
Prosecutors will ask Judge Ronald Rice for the maximum penalty for Richard A. Clark, 40, who killed Dwayne Hickman at Hickman’s Williamsburg Street Northwest home in March.
“The victim, out of the goodness of his own heart, opened his home to [Clark],” Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, wrote in a sentencing memorandum he filed with the court last week.
“On the day of the offense, the crime-scene video clearly shows that March 25, 2013, was a typical Ohio March day, cold, windy and snowy. [Hickman] provided shelter from the elements for a derelict, destitute, bum who thanked him by murdering him in his own home,” Becker said.
Clark was convicted during a trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court earlier this month of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery and is scheduled for sentencing at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Becker is asking Judge Rice to sentence Clark to life in prison without any chance at parole.
“Clearly this defendant has forfeited his right to ever see freedom again,” Becker said.
Police found Hickman dead in his bathroom March 25, stabbed 11 times and lacerated four times, the fatal blows being stab wounds to his neck. He was believed to have been killed a couple days earlier.
Clark, who Becker called a “vagabond” who stayed in one place and another, was found March 25 unconscious from a heroin overdose at a house on Maryland Street where he sometimes stayed with a woman.
At the house, police found items that belonged to Hickman, including his wallet, car and several guns, including a “family heirloom that had been in [Hickman’s] family for nearly 50 years.”
DNA evidence connected clothing found at the Maryland Street and Williamsburg Street residences to Hickman and Clark. The jury convicted Clark after about 75 minutes of deliberations.
Clark’s previous convictions include misuse of a credit card, drug possession, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, marijuana trafficking and child endangering. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison in 1999.