Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

DA: Linda Clark shooting justified

By
August 3, 2010 |

Democrat staff writer

The March shooting of a mental health patient who fled from officers in a stolen ambulance was justified, states a report from the El Dorado County District AttorneyÕs Office.

The report, released Thursday night, states Placerville Police officer Nick MaurerÕs use of deadly force against Folsom woman Linda Clark was Òreasonable under the circumstances, and therefore justified, as he was acting in lawful self-defense, defense of others, and for the protection of general public.Ó

Clark, 39, escaped from PlacervilleÕs Marshall Medical Center on March 28 in an ambulance parked outside of the hospital. After a brief, slow chase through Placerville, Clark was shot and killed in a Cedar Ravine cul-de-sac by Maurer.

Clark had been told by officers to exit the ambulance but instead hit one patrol car and accelerated towards Maurer before he opened fire.

She was brought to the hospital the night of March 27 and placed on an involuntary hold as a danger to herself after a law enforcement officer witnessed Clark walk out into traffic. She was awaiting transfer to a psychiatric facility at the time of her escape.

Federal reports state Clark was left largely unattended prior to leaving the hospital.

The 50-page report details the events of March 28, starting with ClarkÕs exit from Marshall Medical Center.

On the morning of March 28, Placerville police learned that Clark had stolen an ambulance from the hospital. Minutes later, Maurer spotted Clark on Thompson Way, near Sierra Elementary School. Maurer reportedly attempted a routine traffic stop and saw Clark hit a road sign.

ClarkÕs ambulance then came to a complete stop and the officer exited his patrol car and approached Clark with his gun drawn.

Seeing this, Clark sped off and continued down Thompson Way and onto Main Street before turning left down Cedar Ravine.

Maurer, along with Sgt. John Kunkle and officer Chris Woolever, surrounded Clark at the cul-de-sac with their patrol cars. Clark then backed the ambulance into the cars and came to a stop at a grassy hillside.

Kunkle approached Clark and attempted to pull her out of the ambulance through the driverÕs side window before Clark pulled away in reverse.

Woolever then hit Clark with both prongs of his Taser. Clark Òshowed no apparent effect or reaction of being hitÓ and continued on in reverse.

Seven minutes after officers were dispatched, Maurer shot at Clark five times. The report says Maurer shot at Clark, who was accelerating towards the officer, because he feared for the safety of himself and his fellow officers, as well as the safety of the public at large.

An eyewitness, Philip Darnell, said the ambulanceÕs driving was Òdefinitely aggressiveÓ and that Clark appeared Òintent on hitting those cop cars.Ó

Maurer was placed on routine administrative leave but has since returned to active duty.

During the autopsy, it was determined that Clark died of a Ògunshot wound to the head into the neck.Ó Two other Òsignificant factorsÓ in ClarkÕs death, according to the autopsy, were acute psychosis and elevated levels of an appetite suppressant in ClarkÕs system.

To clear up ÒinconsistenciesÓ in the Placerville police report, the District AttorneyÕs Office conducted its own reenactment of the shooting, which answered many Òlingering questions.Ó The results of those reenactments, according to the report, were consistent with MaurerÕs given statements.

The DAÕs office also recruited the assistance of two retired California Highway Patrol Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team members who reconstructed the shooting. Their independent findings were in-line with the reconstruction staged by the DAÕs Office.

El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said he was satisfied with the reportÕs findings and thoroughness.

ÒWeÕve made every effort to make an investigation and report that was both thorough and unbiased,Ó he said. ÒWe went through the extra steps of doing our own reenactment as well as using a third-party reconstruction. This is the final product.Ó

Pierson also said he was hopeful the findings would help ease public concerns over any perceived secrecy or wrong-doing.

ÒI canÕt tell people what to think,Ó he said. ÒI can only tell them what the facts are.Ó

The full report as well as the reenactment videos can be seen on the DAÕs Website.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at jratajczak@mtdemocrat.net or call 530-344-5071.

Comments

comments

.

News

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17