He was also ordered to pay $2,000 restitution and register as a Tier II sex offender. Atha-Arnett waived his right to appeal.
Mushroom hunters in Glen Helen discovered Clark’s body near the Little Miami River in April 2019.
Lonya Clark’s father, Eric Clark, said his adopted son and Atha-Arnett were longtime friends but had an on-again, off-again relationship, where they, “were best friends one week and wouldn’t speak to each other the next.”
Sheriff offering reward to solve the homicide of Leonid "Lonya" Clark
Jacqueline Clark, Lonya Clark’s stepmother, spoke to Atha-Arnett directly during the sentencing. She said many people will want to know why Atha-Arnett killed Lonya Clark.
“How could you hurt your friend?” she asked. “He was your friend.”
Jacqueline Clark said Lonya Clark’s little sister, whose birthday is Jan. 13, the same day that Lonya Clark was killed, now wants to change her birthday.
Jon Paul Rion, the defense attorney representing Atha-Arnett, called the situation tragic, noting Atha-Arnett knew the victim from a young age.
Atha-Arnett declined to speak during the sentencing.
Both men were 26 years old at the time of Clark’s death.