Murder victim’s family at odds with police


PHENIX CITY, Ala — Police confirm to News 3 they are not expecting any more arrests in Sunday night’s murder on Setter Drive.

Captain George Staudinger says although Michael Clark’s family is angry about his death, there is no evidence that anyone else was involved in Clark’s murder.

Family members say 40-year-old Clark may have been lured to his death by the mother of his child. Clark’s aunt Patricia Taylor says the woman was romantically involved with the alleged shooter, 52-year-old Melvin James.

Police are charging Melvin James with murder in the shooting of Michael Clark.

Taylor says her nephew went to meet the woman to pick up their 2-year-old son. “If he had known a man was there, Michael would not have gone there,” Taylor says.

Staudinger says the woman mentioned was not there when Clark was shot and there is no evidence she was involved. He does confirm an argument over her may have started the tension between the two men.

“Dating two people does not make her a criminal,” Staudinger says. “People may have made bad judgement and had some bad behavior in this case, but our job as police is to pursue criminal acts.”

James appeared in court for the first time Monday. Judge Walter Gray III issued him a $200,000 bond.

Clark’s family says they are calling for the death penalty against James.

“It does not end here,” Taylor vows. “I will keep fighting until justice is done.”

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