Suspect in gas station murder case sent to grand jury - WSMV News 4

Case against man accused in gas station murder sent to grand jury

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A judge decided to send Daniel Clark's case to the grand jury on Thursday. (WSMV) A judge decided to send Daniel Clark's case to the grand jury on Thursday. (WSMV)
Daniel Clark (Source: Metro Nashville PD) Daniel Clark (Source: Metro Nashville PD)
Trinity Quinn (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department) Trinity Quinn (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department)

The case against the man accused of murdering a west Nashville gas station clerk is heading to a grand jury.

A hearing for Daniel Clark was held Thursday morning.

A detective was the only person who testified before the judge decided there was enough evidence to send this case to the grand jury.

Lead detective Tim Weaver with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Clark confessed to shooting John Stevens repeatedly inside the Exxon gas station on Charlotte Pike on May 2.

Clark reportedly told investigators he and 15-year-old Trinity Quinn intended to rob Stevens. They wanted his wallet, car keys and cellphone. The two had run away together from Dayton, TN, and their car had run out of gas.

Police said autopsy reports show Clark shot Stevens 10 times when he wouldn't hand over his car keys.

“As we were sitting there just discussing, he was more concerned about Trinity during the beginning of the conversation. Then he just kind of blurted out, ‘I shot him eight times in the chest and once in the head,’” Weaver said on the witness stand in court.

Clark sat motionless and stoic as Weaver described the killing.

“The victim was shot 10 times: two times to the head, two grazing wounds to the face, two to the heart, two more to the chest, and one was in the abdomen and one was in the upper shoulder,” Weaver said.

When detectives asked Clark why he shot Stevens so many times, he said he didn't want him the victim to suffer.

"I was like 'Why so much?'" Weaver said he asked Clark in their police interview. "He, uh, just the synopsis is, he didn't like to hear somebody gurgle, and when he goes squirrel hunting, he always carries a pistol with him so if he just injures the squirrel he can take it out of its misery."

Weaver showed Judge Angelita Dalton images where Clark allegedly leaned over the convenience store counter and continued to shoot Stevens after he had already fallen.

Up until the hearing, officers had said that Quinn was the only other person in the gas station during the shooting. But Weaver revealed on stand that Stevens was not alone in the gas station, the store manager was in the bathroom.

"The store manager, who was still in the bathroom, heard the shots, and he came out after they had left," Weaver said.

Police said he walked out to find his coworker lying beside the counter. He flagged down an approaching customer to call 911, and he also called 911, Weaver said.

Clark and Quinn had stolen Stevens' keys and broke into the car because the keys didn't work. It turned out the car they tried to steal belonged to the station manager, not Stevens. They ran off on foot. 

Police later found two guns when they caught Clark and Quinn hiding out in the woods. Weaver said police believe the gun Clark used to kill Stevens was a weapon he stole from his brother. His brother reported it stolen after the homicide. Police say the other gun Clark had belonged to his best friend, Houston.

The gas station manager told Channel 4 that he did not want to comment.

Clark's family was at the hearing but did not want to speak.

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