California Supreme Court building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
California Supreme Court building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The state Supreme Court Monday upheld the death sentence for a 62-year-old man convicted of the murder of a mom who surprised robbers of a Fountain Valley computer store as she went to pick up her son, as well as the later killing of a witness.

The high court, however, vacated special circumstance allegations of murder during a burglary and robbery for William Clinton Clark. It upheld other special circumstances of the killing of a witness, murder while lying in wait, and multiple murders.

Clark was convicted in the Oct. 18, 1991 fatal shooting of Kathy Lee during an attempted, takeover-style robbery of a CompUSA store in a Fountain Valley shopping center. The other murder was the ambush killing of Ardell Williams, a witness against Clark, who was killed in Gardena on March 13, 1994.

Co-defendant Nokkuwa Ervin was convicted of firing the fatal shot that killed Lee, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Co-defendant Antoinette Yancey was also convicted of murdering Williams and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Clark conspired with Yancey to kill Williams after she had testified to a grand jury about his participation in the CompUSA killing, according to prosecutors. Williams planned to testify against Clark at his trial.

Clark denied participating in either murder and presented an alibi at trial that he was at a recording studio in Glendale the night of the robbery- gone-bad.

Williams had gone along with Clark before the CompUSA caper to do surveillance on the store at the Fountain Valley Mall. Prosecutors argued at trial that a group of burglars went to the store at closing time and handcuffed two employees to a handrail in a bathroom, but Lee surprised them as she came into the business looking for her son, prompting Ervin to shoot her with a gun loaded with just one bullet.

Williams was lured to her death with a phony job interview set-up by someone claiming her name was Janet Jackson.

–City News Service

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