by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Claims Commission has reached a decision on a claim seeking $5 million for the death of Maurice "Beau" Clark, 67, who was killed during a Little Rock home invasion robbery by four men, including Antonio Terry. Terry had been released from a Youth Services center despite strong staff warnings that he was dangerous and resistance to his release. He is now serving a 65-year prison sentence.
The case was argued last week. Evidence included that Antonio had threatened to kill people, that he'd removed a monitoring bracelet, that his mother said she was unable to control him, that he was on drugs and associating with a gang and that he was stealing from a mentor from church. Despite all this, the Division of Youth Services didn't move to take him back into custody. In the robbery, Clark was beaten and then Terry shot him in the shoulder. As he was leaving the house, he stopped and returned to again shoot Clark in the mouth.
The Claims Commission confirms a decision has been reached but a spokesman said it won't discuss the outcome until tomorrow. I'm expecting a report shortly from David Williams, attorney for the estate, with details. But, meanwhile, KTHV's Lisa Hutson has reported via Twitter that the panel recommended $1.5 million for the family. It will be up to the legislature to decide whether to pay the claim.
UPDATE: Williams has provided a copy of the findings in the case, which reports a unanimous decision in favor of a $1.5 million award for Clark's pain and suffering and the mental anguish suffered by his family.