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Comment admissible in Clark's attempted murder trial

March 29, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN

Days after her arrest on attempted murder charges, Musliman "Mizzah" Clark allegedly blurted out a comment her attorneys fought Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to keep from her April trial.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ruled at the close of the suppression hearing that the statement may be used in her April 20 trial on charges she shot and wounded a 17-year-old boy at about 4 p.m. on Nov. 22, 2005.

Clark, 25, whose last known address was 920 N. Mulberry St., Apt. 3S, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Timothy Jerome Thomas in the chest and hand at 13 S. Cannon Ave.

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Clark was arrested Dec. 7 in Virginia and taken to Hagerstown Police Department headquarters Dec. 13.

Detective Shawn Schultz testified that Clark read halfway through her transcribed statement before saying, "I did it. I'm convicted. It's his word against my word. Can my lawyer get a copy of this?"

Schultz testified that he wrote the quote down on a paper towel.

Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden said that Clark, who was read her Miranda rights in Virginia, was not read those rights again before she reviewed her statement Dec. 13.

McDowell ruled that police didn't need to read Clark her rights again since she never left police custody.

"She knew full well her Miranda rights," he said, noting that Clark had given examples of what each right means when she first reviewed them.

McDowell also ruled Tuesday that Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil can use a witness' identification of Clark as the shooter. He also ruled that there was nothing illegal about the way in which Clark was arrested in Winchester, Va.

Detective Tammy Jurado testified that she asked Dewayne Jackson to identify "Mizzah" out of a photo array, which contained Clark's picture and the pictures of five other women. After about three to four minutes, Jackson picked the picture of Clark, Jurado testified.

Creeden said that Jackson did not know "Mizzah" and had only told detectives that he saw a woman run into the house and back out into a white car and argued that it was suggested Jackson pick out Clark.

When issuing his ruling, McDowell said, "There was no suggestibility, whatsoever, in the manner in which the photo array was presented to Mr. Jackson."

Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed argued that police in Virginia did not have enough facts about Clark's charges to arrest her in Virginia.

McDowell said that Hagerstown Police issued an arrest warrant and notified the U.S. Marshals Service that Clark was wanted, giving police in Virginia probable cause to arrest her.

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