A jury in Oklahoma County took less than 90 minutes Friday to convict a man of first-degree murder in the ambush killing of a tree-trimmer mistaken for a rival gang member.
Davion Pollard, 18, of Oklahoma City, faces life in prison for the June 8, 2011, shooting death of Jerry Clark Jr., 45.
Testimony indicated the shooting came after Clark's assailants mistakenly believed that his orange work shirt indicated he was a member of a competing gang.
Clark, 45, worked for a tree-trimming company and was visiting his aunt moments before the shooting.
“Justice was served,” said Marcella Clark, the victim's sister.
“My brother was the king of our family.”
Pollard and three co-defendants, including one who testified against him, intended to rob Clark after he drove his white Cadillac down a street in northeast Oklahoma City claimed by Pollard's gang.
Prosecutors said Clark didn't belong to a gang and didn't have a criminal record.
“This killing was absolutely senseless,” Assistant District Attorney Dan Gridley said in his closing argument. “They took this man's life because of the color of his shirt.”
Jurors also found Pollard guilty of conspiring to rob Clark at gunpoint and recommended 10 years in prison.
He is set to be sentenced April 3 by District Judge Glenn M. Jones.
Prosecutors told the jury Friday that a gun police found on the floorboard of a car Pollard was driving about 10 days after the killing matched a projectile found at the scene.
Clark was shot to death in the driveway of his aunt's house in the 2100 block of NE 28.
Gridley told the jury Clark was carrying $70 and refused to get out of the car when he was ordered to do so at gunpoint.
Co-defendant Chase Calton, 16, testified Thursday that he and three co-defendants decided to rob Clark because he was wearing orange and driving a Cadillac and thought to have money and drugs for the taking.
Calton said Pollard and co-defendant Tommy Long were armed and confronted the victim when he tried to back out of his aunt's house in the 2100 block of NE 28.
The witness, characterized by prosecutors as a gang associate, testified that he and co-defendant Sean Anderson were waiting by the side of a house when Clark was shot.
Prosecutors said Clark was shot once and died at the scene, adding that 12 shots were fired into his car.
Defense attorney Bill Smith said Calton — not Pollard — fired a handgun at Clark. Smith, in his closing argument, called Calton a liar who threw Pollard “under the bus” to avoid prison.
“The state chose him to make their case, and the state also gave him something more valuable than all the gold in Fort Knox…,” Smith said. “They offered him his freedom.”
Long, 20, of Oklahoma City, was convicted of first-degree murder in November and was sentenced to life in prison. Anderson, 22, of Edmond, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and received 10 years in prison plus 10 years for violating his probation in an unrelated case.
Calton, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to a murder charge and was sentenced as a youthful offender because he was 14 when Clark was killed. He could be sentenced to prison for life if he fails to complete a treatment program administered by the state Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Clark worked for Asplundh, a nationwide tree-trimming company that clears utility rights of way. The company uses orange for its vehicles and work clothes.