ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A woman charged with murder in her husband’s death returned to court Monday.
Bail was set at $200,000 for Jennie Clark. She’s the woman police say killed her husband during a fatal accident in Ogden on the fourth of July.
Clark is facing a second degree murder charge. Police say the 42-year-old was intoxicated when she went into the wrong lane and crashed into a utility pole on Colby Street. Her husband, Matthew Clark, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fatal crash, according to Ogden Police, was caught on camera because one of Clark’s daughter’s used her phone to record it. That video has made this case unique.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen a murder 2 charged in a vehicular homicide for sure. And we see it more and more now over the last few years, videos, especially telephone audios and videos,” said Clark’s Defense Attorney Joe Damelio.
Damelio says he has seen the video and he called it “alarming.” He also said the hardest part of the investigation may be the rush to judgment from others if they see or hear the video.
“It’s what we do as a society. Those first few moments of a case, people basically decide guilt or not guilt in the first five minutes that they hear about the case and when jurors come into the court house, people can say they heard about the case and it doesn’t disqualify them as jurors but rather can they set aside what they have heard, and that’s going to be a challenge in this case,” Damelio said.
According to the felony complaint, Clark was allegedly arguing with her husband at the time of the crash.
The mother of three is currently in Monroe County jail. She was taken into custody after being released from the hospital after the crash.
“She’s not in a good place right now. Her husband is dead, her three children she can’t see or have any contact with, I mean that essentially was her life and she is certainly struggling with that,” Damelio said.
Amanda Balling, the Deputy Chief of the Special Victim’s Unit with the District Attorney’s office, called the case “shocking.”
“The way that the circumstances of this case, in my mind, I’ve never seen anything like it. I know I have used the word tragedy, but I don’t really know any other way to express myself about it. It’s heartbreaking what happened,” Balling said.
Balling said she believes the crash could have been avoided.
“It’s a tragedy that was 100% avoidable and within a matter of minutes, three children’s lives were changed forever,” Balling said. “I have had cases similar to this where parents have acted in a manner that’s incredibly dangerous to their children and our job and the district attorney’s office is to do everything we can to make sure that those people that hurt children are held accountable.”
Clark has no previous criminal record. Police say her children are staying with family in the area and have been supported by the community.
This case is still in the hands of the grand jury and could wrap up by the end of this week.