ABC News' Sulina Gabale Reports: Suspected Tre-Tre Crips gang member Willie Clark was convicted on 21 counts of murder on Thursday for the New Years Eve drive-by shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007.
Tension between Broncos players and alleged gang members emerged early in the night on which Williams was shot. Several Broncos players were reportedly given preferential treatment over the crowd waiting in line to enter Denver’s popular Safari nightclub – among that crowd was the allegedly enraged Clark. In testimony, Clark reportedly told wide receiver Brandon Marshall, “We street. We got money too.”
Once inside, Clark reportedly continued to accost the players throughout the night, ultimately leading to the fatal shots he fired into the Hummer stretch limo containing Williams and 16 others as they prepared to leave the club.
Marshall reportedly grew emotional after taking the stand as he recounted details from the night. Although not in the limo at the time of the shooting, he described seeing distraught team members with blood-stained clothing waiting in the hospital and tightly clutching various items Williams was wearing during the shooting.
Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey told ABC News, “When you have 17 people in a limo on New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t really require a celebrity victim to get a lot of attention.” Morrissey went on to explain the elaborate security measures taken during the trial including bomb-sniffing dogs and the presence of federal marshals to escort many of the witnesses who are under a separate federal investigation for a gang drug ring. “It was a six month planning strategy with all agencies involved leading up to this,” he said.
The 11-day trial finally came to a close as jurors reached a verdict convicting Clark on all counts of murder, including the attempted murder of all others in the limo. He faces life in prison at his sentencing on April 30th. As for Clark’s chance of appeal, Morrissey said, “I don’t think he’ll succeed. The judge was extremely conservative in her rulings, and this is a fairly typical drive-by murder case.”