OROVILLE, Calif. - A Butte County man convicted on three counts of murder and one count of arson will spend the remainder of his life behind bars in a state prison.
It was one year ago on June 13 that Donald Clark killed three people from Sacramento, two of whom were teenagers, then took their bodies, placed them in a car and burned them on the Skyway north of Magalia.
Friday was a day of closure for the families of 17-year-old Richard Jones Jr., 15-year-old Roland Lowe and his mom 46-year-old Coleen Lowe. The families said it was very hard to prepare for the sentencing but now they can start to heal and move forward.
The judge issued the sentencing as the families looked on.
"It is the judgment and sentence of this court that you be in prison, in the state prison, for the term described by law to wit life without the possibility of parole," said the Honorable Tamara Mosbarger.
The sentencing started off with family members of the victims speaking their minds.
"I hate you and my mother told me never to use that word but I hate you," said Felishia Moore, Jones' mother. "I hate you from the bottom of my [expletive] soul."
"The emotions you don't show, angers me," said James Bedford, Coleen's son. "I can't put it into words of how angry I am."
Clark was emotionless as he listened. He claimed the killings were in self defense and felt threatened when the three victims showed up on the property he was staying on in Centerville last summer.
Clark grabbed a shotgun from his home and killed all three of them once they confronted each other.
Today the family got their chance to share the heartbreak they've endured.
"I wake up some mornings and I don't even want to be alive and the only person I have to thank is you for that because you ruined my life," said Jillian Cook, Coleen's stepdaughter.
Clark will serve three life sentences for each of the deaths plus additional time for arson. The family can now start healing and moving forward with their lives.
"I pray that I can get the courage, the strength to forgive you," said Bedford. "Not for you, but for me and my family."
Clark will now head to state prison as soon as possible. Before he was taken away he told the judge that his attorney was drinking on the job throughout his hearings.
He told the judge he plans to appeal this life sentence.
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