74.2 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesMotion to Recuse Could Stall Trial of ATF Agent

Motion to Recuse Could Stall Trial of ATF Agent

After two years on the back burner, it appeared that the William Clark case was finally going to get an airing in V.I. Superior Court, but a recent motion for the presiding judge to recuse herself could prevent it from finally moving forward as planned on Monday.
Clark, a special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), has been charged with second-degree murder — along with voluntary manslaughter and using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence — for the September 2008 shooting death of Marcus Sukow.
Clark’s involvement in the shooting is at the heart of the case, as defense attorneys have argued that he was simply doing his job by intervening in a violent domestic dispute between Sukow and his girlfriend. The prosecution, however, has stuck to the story outlined in various statements and affidavits — namely, that Clark intervened after Sukow’s girlfriend asked him for a ride, then fired at Sukow after he struck Clark’s car with a flashlight.
The case has stirred controversy both locally and on the mainland, with one N.Y. State Congressman even starting a campaign in the hopes of clearing Clark’s name. The latest twist in the saga, however, has been a motion filed by Clark’s defense attorneys asking for Judge Brenda J. Hollar to recuse herself from presiding over the case.
A 10-page motion filed last week claims Hollar is biased against Clark and his defense team, and showed her "lack of neutrality" by recently calling an assistant attorney general, who has since retired, and having a 30-minute conversation with him about the case. According to the motion, the phone call took place prior to a pre-trial hearing for Clark.
Excerpts from court transcripts included in the motion indicate that Hollar has admitted to having a conversation with now former assistant attorney general Jesse Bethel, but said it was not improper. In a recent phone interview, Bethel also confirmed he had talked to Hollar and that the discussion mainly centered on his upcoming retirement.
The Source has been unable to confirm whether Hollar is required to rule on this motion prior to the start of trial on Monday. However, Superior Court clerks said Wednesday that there are currently no more pre-trial conferences scheduled for Clark, and that the trial is on the calendar as planned.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.