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Donald Clark, Redby shooting suspect, makes first court appearance

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Donald Clark, Redby shooting suspect, makes first court appearance
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Handcuffed and dressed in a "Tha King" hip hop T-shirt and trousers, Donald Leigh Clark, one of the men charged in the Julian DeMarrias shooting death Nov. 3 in Redby, made his first court appearance Tuesday.

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Clark, 22, of Redby, appeared before Federal Magistrate Mary Klein in U.S. District Court for Minnesota in Bemidji.

Klein read Clark the charges against him: aiding and abetting with Cruze White, also 22, of Redby; second-degree murder of Julian DeMarrias with malice aforethought; assault of Jerrick DeMarrias with the intention to commit murder; and assault of Orland Spears with the intent to commit murder.

Clark replied that he understood the charges against him.

Klein also read Clark his right to remain silent when questioned by law enforcement officers and reviewed the defendant's finances to determine if he qualified for a court-appointed attorney.

Clark swore under oath that he had no assets, real estate or money in the bank. Klein ruled that he qualified for a court-appointed attorney. She also noted that the U.S. Government had filed a motion for his detention, which she is obliged to accept.

Klein set Clark's next hearing for 1:30 p.m. Friday before Judge Arthur Boylan in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Clark remains in custody in the Beltrami County Jail.

Clark had been a federal fugitive since being charged by criminal complaint Nov. 5 with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was subsequently charged by criminal complaint Nov. 17 with the current charges of second-degree murder and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder. All charges stemmed from his alleged role in the Nov. 3 shooting death of Julian DeMarrias, 22, of Redby and the wounding of Jerrick DeMarrias and Spears, both 19 and from Redby.

According to the FBI report, at approximately 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, Red Lake Police Department officers and FBI special agents were following up on a lead in the case in Redby. They saw a white Pontiac Grand Prix drive past them, a vehicle that looked similar to the car driven by Clark's girlfriend, Jerilee Head. A Red Lake officer saw the driver commit a traffic violation and attempted to stop the vehicle, according to an FBI report. The driver continued to travel about half a mile before stopping at Clark's father's home in Redby. Head had been driving the vehicle. Clark was located in the back seat hiding beneath a blanket. He was placed under arrest without further incident.

Head was designated as a person of interest in the shooting, but was taken off the list Nov. 5, according to Red Lake Public Safety Director Bill Brunelle. No charges have been filed against Head as of Tuesday, according to U.S. District Court spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney.

White, 22, of Redby, also was charged Nov. 17 with one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, all stemming from the same Nov. 3 shooting incident in Redby. He remains a fugitive.

White is described as an American Indian male, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He has four tattoos on the back of his left hand. They are the words "Kyra," "Kalicia," a bear paw and a small star symbol. He also may have a teardrop tattoo in the corner of one eye.

Clark's mother, who attended Tuesday's hearing but declined to give her name, told Clark she loves him and "We're trying to find Cruze."

Y mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pioneer staff reports
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