LAKE CITY — As Marco Clark’s capital murder trial was preparing to start, Clark had a change of heart and pleaded guilty to the charge on Wednesday.
Circuit Judge Dan Ritchey sentenced Clark to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Clark killed his estranged wife, Melinda Coburn, on Aug. 24, 2019.
Her body was found dead from a gunshot wound under a blanket in the front yard of the residence that she and Clark had shared on Craighead Road 988, investigators said.
Clark was also charged with making a terroristic threat, violating an order of protection and theft of property.
Clark posted an obscenity-laced Facebook rant on the night of the murder that not only mentioned being wanted for a murder in Jonesboro, but also provided a window into his thoughts and feelings about his circumstances and what he was willing to do.
“Who gonna be my next (expletive) victim in Jonesboro?” Clark said as he was driving Coburn’s white Dodge Challenger.
He later talked about his apparent violent disregard for human life.
“I’m gonna shoot y’all holes in y’all (expletive) face!” he said. “Whether it’s a police (officer) or whatever, I don’t give a (expletive.)”
His video lasted two minutes and eight seconds.
Investigator Ron Richardson made phone contact with Clark and convinced him to turn himself in.
Keith Chrestman, 2nd Judicial District prosecuting attorney, praised assistants Gina Knight and Martin Lilly for their work on the case.
“A plea of guilty to capital murder is a rare thing. It’s a product of Knight and Lilly’s hard work and experience,” Chrestman said in a press release. “Their efforts make our community safer. It’s why I asked them to come to Craighead County. And I’m thankful for their willingness to serve.”
Knight and Lilly credited Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd and his deputies for their investigation and obtaining a confession from Clark.