OROVILLE, Calif. - The man accused of triple murder was back in court Thursday. At one point 72-year-old Donald Clark was moments away from going on the witness stand to tell his side of the story when his lawyer advised him against doing so.
"What I've heard in the last couple of days was a whole bunch of lies," Clark said from the defense table. "There's only one person who knows the truth in this room and that's me."
The courtroom came to a standstill as Clark, the man accused of killing 17-year-old Richard Jones Jr., 15-year-old Roland Lowe and his mother 46-year-old Coleen Lowe spoke for the very first time during his trial.
Clark never took the stand but he spoke from where he sat next to his lawyer.
"The law is screwed up," said Clark. "I have an uncle who was a jury commissioner in another county for 30 years. He told me what goes on behind the scenes. This is all wrong."
The prosecution also called AJ Murgia to the stand. She owns land next to the property where Clark lived, and was Jones next door neighbor in Sacramento.
Murgia said she used to take Jones and his siblings to Centerville in the summertime. She told the jury Clark told her Jones was stealing from him.
The defense asked Murgia about a burglary that happened at her Sacramento home where a .38 revolver was stolen along with some marijuana and other items in February of 2013; five months before Jones' death. She said her neighbors told her Jones Jr. could have been the one who broke in.
After that the prosecution rested.
The defense called two women who live near Clark. They both told the jury that Clark is a generous and helpful man. They also testified about the slow response time for the sheriff's office to get to their community.
After that Clark told the judge he wanted to testify but his attorney, Leo Battle, advised him otherwise.
"There are too many people that have been lying all the way through and I have been writing them down, but I have to respect Mr. Battle," Clark said.
Clark's fate lies in the hands of the jury. Both sides will make their closing arguments Friday morning.