By Ed Runyan
Richard Clark, who murdered a man who allowed him to stay at his Williamsburg Street Northwest house, has been given a new place to stay for the rest of his life.
Clark, 40, of Warren, received a prison sentence Thursday of life with no parole for killing Dwayne Hickman, 49, who was disabled and used a walker. He also received an additional 10 years for aggravated robbery.
Clark made no statement to Judge Ronald Rice of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court or to Hickman’s family before Judge Rice handed down the sentence. Clark and his defense team also didn’t present any witnesses during his trial two weeks ago.
But Chelsea Hess, Hickman’s neice, told Judge Rice her uncle was “a gentle soul even if he didn’t really look like it,” with his long hair, beard and tattoos.
“Listening to him tell a story was an adventure for everyone because you never knew where he was going with it. He never bothered anyone; all he wanted was to be able to ride his motorcycle again and enjoy life.”
Hickman, who had suffered a stroke and been in a motorcycle accident, used a walker to get around.
Police found him dead in the bathroom of his Northwest Side home March 25 with 11 stab wounds and four lacerations, including two fatal wounds to his neck.
Hess said her uncle had a “fierce loyalty” to his family and friends, and that quality may have cost him his life.
“He was murdered while helping Richard Clark, someone he thought was a friend,” she said.
“He allowed him to stay at his house because Clark didn’t have any other place to stay. In [return], Richard Clark viciously murdered Dwayne, a disabled man that couldn’t defend himself.”
Judge Rice called Clark’s crimes “cold-blooded and cutthroat,” adding: “You are a drug addict who assassinated a man who tried to help you.”
He noted that Clark has had 22 criminal convictions, and, “You have preyed on the good people of our civilized society for far too long.”
The judge said based on Clark’s criminal record and behavior, “there is no question ... that you will certainly commit future violent crimes.”