Johnny Bill Clark

Johnny Bill Clark, his defense attorney Sebastian Joy, Greenup County Circuit Judge Robert B. Conley, and special prosecutor Ronnie Goldy. Photo by Carly Carver.

GREENUP The jury trial of a man accused of murder will be postponed until February after a testifying witness was in an accident.

Johnny Bill Clark is now scheduled for a jury trial on February 24th on the charges of murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The trial was originally set to begin Monday. However, a Greenup County Circuit Court clerk said that the case was postponed after a state medical examiner was in an out-of-state vehicle accident and couldn't make it to the trial. Johnny Bill Clark will remain out of jail on an unsecured $100,000 signature bond.

Johnny Bill Clark is accused of the 2016 murder of Todd Anthony Rowe, a man who was dating his daughter at the time of slaying. J.D. Clark, Johnny Bill Clark’s son, was already convicted of the murder of Rowe and sentenced to 35 years following a jury trial in 2017.

During Johnny Bill Clark’s pretrial conference, Judge Robert Conley expressed concern that pursuing a murder charge could give J.D. Clark cause for an appeal. However, prosecutors expressed confidence that with the evidence from the medical examiner, they could pursue two plausible scenarios for a conviction — one is murder and the other is complicity to murder.

“The defendant allegedly fired a shot,” Prosecutor Ronnie Goldy said.

Goldy argued the state’s medical examiner stated the cause of death as shotgun shots to the head and the torso. According to eyewitness testimony, however, there were three shots fired, with J.D. Clark delivering two of them. One of those shots could have been fired by Johnny Bill Clark and it could have been the fatal shot, argued the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Goldy also argued that the case could pursue complicity to murder as Johnny Bill Clark allegedly held down Rowe as the shots were being fired by his son, J.D. Clark.

Defense attorney Sebastian Joy said that the defense has offered multiple pleas to the Commonwealth. However, none have been accepted.

Joy said that J.D. Clark will be transported from the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville to testify at the trial.

“He will testify that his father had nothing to do with that day,” Joy said.

Recommended for you