Murder case against East Deer husband heads for trial
An East Deer man accused of murdering his wife in July waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Friday.
Tom Clark, 50, of West Ninth Avenue is charged with homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Detectives found Jill Clark's decomposing body on July 6 in a wooded area near a gas utility road off Old Leechburg Road in Plum.
Jill Clark's co-workers at the Penn Hills Post Office reported her missing on July 2 when she failed to show up for work. Her whereabouts were unknown until Tom Clark told authorities that on July 1 he struck his wife two or three times in the head with a floor jack “in a fit of rage” over what he claimed was his wife's decade-long affair with a co-worker, according to a police criminal complaint.
Clark allegedly told police he wrapped his wife's remains in plastic and drove around the Oakmont and Plum area trying to find a place to dispose of the body. He allegedly later returned to the site and removed the plastic and tape and disposed of the items in various places in other communities.
At first, Clark told police his wife had left their house between 2 and 3 a.m. July 2 after the couple argued, and he had not seen her since.
About six family members and a few friends attended Clark's hearing on Friday.
After the short proceeding, Barbara Winters of Carrick, Jill Clark's coworker at the Penn Hills Post Office, tried to hold back tears as she described her longtime friend as a wonderful friend and mother.
“She was an amazing woman,” Winters said. “I couldn't picture her without a smile. Nothing seems the same since this happened.”
Family members declined to comment.
In the days before police discovered Jill Clark's body, her son, Edwin, told police that he suspected Tom Clark murdered his mother.
He said he smelled a strong odor of bleach in the basement of the Clarks' home, saw Tom Clark using a grinding stone to grind off the soles of his work boots and saw him replace the rubber floor mats in his Dodge Caravan, according to a criminal complaint.
Police arrested Thomas Clark the night of July 5 in Deer Lakes Park. He was bloody and apparently had tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists and ingesting a large amount of heroin, the criminal complaint states.
Clark will be formally arraigned in Allegheny County Court on Sept. 24.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police: Ex-boyfriend beat himself with hatchet in Tarentum home
- Union leader: ATI health care intact
- Changes coming to The Clarion Hotel in New Kensington
- AK Valley firefighters brush up in high-rise drill
- New Kensington physician fought for social justice
- Springdale’s top cop kept out of his office
- Third, Sixth avenues, Morgan Street to be repaved in Brackenridge
- Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional rank top schools on Niche.com website
- Students, parents, alumni peek inside $55M Armstrong Junior-Senior High School
- New Kensington educator infuses technology in lessons