Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sentencing Decided In Center Hill Lake Killing

A man convicted of committing a homicide on Center Hill Lake last year has now agreed to a negotiated sentence for his crime. In Dekalb County Criminal Court on Wednesday, 39-year-old James Vernon of Rock Island, Tennessee, accepted a four-year sentence on his conviction for reckless homicide in the death of 24-year-old Daniel Joseph Clark. Clark was beaten to death on a houseboat in July of 2009. Court officials say Vernon accepted the four year sentence rather than go through a sentencing hearing, which would have determined his punishment. The normal prison term for reckless homicide is two to four years. He will receive credit for time he has already served while awaiting his trial and sentencing. Authorities say Vernon had severely beaten Clark during an attack on a houseboat at Center Hill Lake July 7th, 2009. Clark died a week later from his injuries. Police say the altercation was apparently over Vernon's missing wallet, which he accused Clark of stealing.