Yorktown arsonist sentenced to life in prison

Aug. 27, 2010 at 3:27 a.m.

CUERO - A DeWitt County jury deliberated little more than 15 minutes Wednesday before convicting Elliot Byron Clark of arson, a first degree felony.

After the punishment hearing, District Judge Skipper Koetter sentenced Clark to life in prison.

Clark, 32, was indicted for torching a trailer owned by Johnny Naranjo on Feb. 20, 2009. The trailer was on Zorn Road in Yorktown.

Naranjo had allowed Clark to live in the trailer for a few days because Clark was homeless. After getting in an argument with Naranjo, Clark set the trailer on fire and fled to Arkansas, according to a news release form District Attorney Michael Sheppard.

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department tracked down Clark in Arkansas and he was extradited to DeWitt County to stand trial for the arson.

During the punishment case, Sheppard presented evidence that Clark had previous convictions on numerous felonies and was a habitual felon, according to the news release.

Witnesses also testified that Clark had bragged about burning down the house of a Child Protective Services worker because he was angry at the worker because of her role in removing Clark's child from the home. The child was removed because of suspicions that Clark was involved in cooking methamphetamine in his home, according to the news release.

Evidence also showed that he bragged that he burns down the homes of people who make him angry. He has a tattoo identifying himself as a "pyro." He also has a tattoo of a Bic lighter with flames surrounding it.

"This defendant is a very dangerous man and I absolutely think that a life sentence was appropriate," Sheppard said.

He also complimented the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office for cracking the case and finding Clark and returning him to DeWitt County.



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