Accused murderer will head to trial

POSTED: 6:46 PM Dec 20 2013   UPDATED: 6:48 PM Dec 20 2013
OROVILLE, Calif. -

An elderly Butte County man charged with killing three people and burning their bodies in Magalia last summer will go to trial.
    
The preliminary hearing for 72-year-old Donald Clark was held Friday morning at the Butte County Courthouse.  The district attorney's office presented enough evidence for the judge to send him to trial.

It was a long day coming for Felishia Moore.  She's waited six months to hear firsthand what happened to her 17-year-old son Richard Jones Jr.
     
"We've been waiting a long time to get to this point.  It was very emotional looking at the pictures," said Moore.
   
Jones' body was found burned inside a stolen car he apparently drove from Sacramento along with his friend 15-year-old Roland Lowe and Roland's mother, 46-year-old Colleen Lowe on June 13 on the Skyway outside of Magalia.
     
"Every day is hard for me and his brothers and sisters," said Moore.
     
The prosecution called three detectives with the sheriff's office who have been investigating this case.
     
They say the three arrived on Clark's property to visit a friend that lived next to Clark on a remote property in Centerville.
     
Investigators testified that Clark confessed to confronting Jones telling him he didn't want them on the property and calling him a thief.
     
They say Clark went back into his house and grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun to scare them away. When Jones tried to take the gun from him, it went off shooting Jones in the stomach.
     
Detectives said Roland Lowe reached for a BB gun in the back seat of the car to hit Clark.  Clark confessed to shooting him in the left side.
     
He then told investigators Colleen Lowe tried to stab him with a kitchen knife.  Clark confessed to investigators that he shot her in the head. He then allegedly put their bodies in the car and lit it on fire.
     
"I think the evidence was solid in this case and it was a stellar investigation," said Deputy District Attorney Jacque Devlin.  
     
Clark allegedly told detectives he got rid of the evidence and put it in a storage locker next to the Chico airport. The testimony convinced the judge that Clark should go to trial.
     
"He was always guilty. He did that and he needs to pay for what he did to them," said Moore.

Moore said that Jones would have celebrated his 18th birthday this Christmas.

The death penalty is still an option in this case but it's up to the district attorney's office whether or not to pursue it.