David Neel Clark could always rely on his aunt, Dorothy D’Anna, when he needed money or a place to stay. After she called him a “mooch” and accused him of stealing her liquor on July 13, he killed her, a Georgia detective said.
Clark, 52, is charged with murder, aggravated assault and financial transaction card fraud in connection with 63-year-old D’Anna’s death. He faced a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon to determine whether there was probable cause to continue with the charges.
Clark had been living with D’Anna off and on for about three months before her death, Gwinnett County Detective David Smith said. Clark didn’t have a car, a job or much money, and didn’t have a relationship with any other family members; D’Anna was the only one willing to help him. She paid him for doing odd jobs around the house and let him stay with her in the basement studio apartment she rented in a Suwanee home.
On Friday, July 13, D’Anna came home from work and shared a few drinks with Clark before accusing him of stealing from her. He denied it, but D’Anna wasn’t convinced and called him a “mooch,” Clark reportedly told police. That upset Clark, police said.
“He said it was hurtful because he spent so much time with her. She was the closest person to him,” Smith said Wednesday.
Clark stewed in anger until D’Anna went to bed, police said. Once she was asleep, he tried to smother her with a trash bag, but she woke up, screaming his name in an attempt to make him stop, he reportedly told police. Clark then got a pillow and pressed it over her face until she suffocated and died, Smith said.
Clark pulled a sheet over D’Anna’s body and took her paycheck and wallet before fleeing the home in her car, Smith said. Clark was seen on surveillance video the next day depositing the paycheck at a Delta Community Credit Union. Over the next week, Clark used D’Anna’s credit cards in Alabama and Florida, Smith said.
Florida police detained Clark after he attempted to commit suicide on a Walton County beach, and found he had D’Anna’s credit cards. Clark told the Gwinnett detective he had a history of bipolar disorder and mental health issues.
He was extradited to Gwinnett County, where he currently remains in jail.
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