CHARLETON, W.Va. -- The man sentenced three years ago for shooting his girlfriend in a dramatic event at a local Taco Bell restaurant now wants to take back his guilty plea and go on trial.
Desmond Clark, 25, of Charleston is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole at Mt. Olive Correctional Center. He pleaded guilty in July 2009 to first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend Na'lisha Gravely.
Clark was in Kanawha Circuit Court Friday, and contended that not enough information was presented previously in court concerning his mental state and the effect of drugs and alcohol on his actions.
He now wants a jury to be able to weigh that evidence. Circuit Judge James Stucky, who accepted Clark's guilty plea nearly three years ago and sentenced him, will make a decision on that request.
But Assistant Prosecutor Dan Holstein, who worked on the case along with Prosecutor Mark Plants, called Clark's motion a "hail Mary attempt."
Holstein said, "He is complaining about the representation given to him by his attorneys, that they didn't look enough into his mental history. But the only evidence he presented of that were records from Wisconsin when he was 9 years old.
"The judge did ask him questions in open court at his sentencing," Holstein said. "He gave that up with his eyes wide open.
"He made a calculated guess that he'd get mercy, and now that he didn't get mercy he wants to try another chance," Holstein said.