LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, September 20, 2018, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier sentenced William Alphonso Clark, Jr., 30 of La Plata, to 12 years in prison and 10 years suspended time for First-Degree Assault and Third-Degree Burglary.

On June 7, 2018, Clark entered a guilty plea to the above charges in Charles County Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge Amy J. Bragunier.

On December 10, 2017, officers responded to a residence in Indian Head for a possible burglary and assault in progress. Upon arrival, an officer heard loud screams coming from inside the victim’s residence and was directed by multiple neighbors to the residence. Once inside the residence, the officer found the victim being assaulted by Clark inside of her kitchen. The officer ordered Clark to stop and he complied. The female was then able to escape, and Clark was apprehended inside of the kitchen.

An investigation into the assault revealed that Clark and the victim were previously involved in a romantic relationship; however, they were no longer dating. Prior to the incident, Clark repeatedly tried to get in contact with the victim, but the victim declined to engage with him. On the morning of the incident, the victim received a text message from a relative of Clark that expressed concern for the victim because of Clark. Clark later showed up to the victim’s residence and began banging on the door, but the victim would not allow him entry to the residence. Clark then went to a sliding glass door in the back of the residence and shattered it to gain entrance.

The victim tried to escape, but Clark began to strangle her and threatened her life. The victim was able to temporarily fight him off and tried to escape again. However, Clark was able to grab the victim from the back of the neck and began strangling her and threatened her life again.  Clark then dragged the victim to the kitchen and began pulling the victim’s hair, as well as repeatedly punching her with a closed fist in the face while she was on the floor covered with glass from the broken door.

During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah K. Freeman emphasized the violent nature of the crime to the judge, “to break into a person’s home when she clearly didn’t want a relationship – repeatedly beating her, pulling her hair, and strangling her – we are lucky the officer was right down the road. Who knows what the injuries would’ve been if it wasn’t for [the officer]. ”

Before sentencing Clark, Judge Bragunier stated, “I’m pretty sure had the defendant been left to his own devices that day, [the victim] would be dead.”

Covington commented, “The Court was correct in praising Deputy Bringley’s quick response and actions which, I believe, saved this victim’s life.  I also think that the good Samaritans that heard the victim screaming for help and directed Bringley to the location deserve praise as well.  Evil wins when good people stand by and do nothing.  This defendant was held accountable for his crimes because good people took action in this life or death scenario. We need more of that in this country.”