Clark murder trial pushed back, perhaps till the spring

Oct 25, 2017

Defense for Brian V. Clark, 37, expects it may take a few more months to prepare for a jury trial. Clark is accused of murdering Ella Olsen, 55, in Dillingham in Feb. 2017 in a heroin-related robbery gone bad.

The crime scene was taped off as police began their investigation Feb. 7, 2015. Ella Olsen, 55, was found beaten to death that day. A year and a half later, Brian Clark was charged with the murder.
Credit KDLG

The murder trial of Brian V. Clark has been pushed back. At a hearing Tuesday, Clark's defense lawyer said they may not be ready till the spring. February will mark three years since 55-year-old Ella Olsen was killed during a robbery at her home in Dillingham.

The case against Clark is built in part on the testimony of many witnesses. Some of these people had bought heroin from the murder victim, Ella Olsen, which the prosecution will use to show Clark knew she was sitting on a stash of money, drugs, or both when he went to her house early on that February day. Others were running around with Clark the day prior, or played cards with him that night at the Hiratsuka residence on Waskey Road. There was heavy drinking as the game stretched late into the night, and some witnesses told police Clark lost hundreds of dollars. Another witness received a perhaps unintentional voicemail from Clark where he discussed his motivation to rob Olsen with another man.

A final witness, an accused drug dealer, told police Clark confessed the murder about a year afterwards. "I didn't mean to do, I was just dope sick," he recalled Clark telling him.

Olsen was found beaten to death later on Feb. 7, 2015.

The criminal milieu Clark ran with in those days is adding to the complexity of the case, according to the attorneys.

Assistant District Attorney Dan Shorey, who is prosecuting the case, told presiding-Judge Herman Walker that his office had recently provided defense counsel with the criminal record of those witnesses.

“Of those witness who have criminal history, that is approximately 424 pages of paper,” he said.

That ream was recently provided to Gregory Parvin, who is defending Clark. His team has been doing other work to build a case to exonerate the accused.

“We’ve had an investigator who’s been working with us on the case, working with Brian’s family, chasing down every possible that lead that we hope will be helpful to the case. That investigation has kind of come to a conclusion," he said.

Judge Walker pushed the next court hearing out till December, but Parvin said he probably wouldn’t be ready for trial until at least the spring. The parties estimate the trial could take two to three weeks, and for now it is scheduled in Dillingham.

dave@kdlg.org or 907.842.5281