James Lyle Clark and his girlfriend both initially lied to police about the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Samuel Hutton before admitting what actually happened, according to a copy of the probable cause affidavit obtained through online court records.
Clark is accused of shooting Hutton on Nov. 20 at his residence at 1325 S. A St., in Arkansas City. Hutton died later that night at South Central Kansas Medical Center. Clark has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the incident. He is currently incarcerated at the Cowley County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Clark is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. March 4 in Cowley County District Court.
According to the affidavit, around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, Arkansas City police and Arkansas City EMS were dispatched to Madison Avenue and the U.S. 77 By-pass for a report of someone who had been shot. Upon arrival, police discovered Hutton lying in the ditch with a bullet hole in his lower left ribcage. Clark’s girlfriend was also at the scene. She is not being identified by the CourierTraveler because she has not been charged with a crime.
The girlfriend told police she didn’t know who shot Hutton, as he had come to the house already injured and told her he needed to go to the hospital. While EMS aided Hutton, Clark’s girlfriend was taken to the Ark City police station to make a more formal statement, the affidavit reads.
At the station, the girlfriend initially reiterated the story that Hutton had come to the house already injured, but after further questioning admitted that Clark had shot him at the residence.
The girlfriend told police she had been cooking dinner and listening to music when she and Clark got into an argument about her choice of music and the volume in which it was being played. Hutton, who was visiting at the time, interjected and told Clark not to speak to his girlfriend like that. A scuffle ensued between Clark and Hutton, and Clark allegedly shot Hutton with a handgun he kept on the dining room table, according to the affidavit.
Clark then told his girlfriend to take Hutton to the hospital, which she did. On the way there, she decided instead to stop and call 911. The girlfriend told police that when she left, Clark was still at the residence. Hutton also told an officer that he had been shot by Clark before passing away around 11:20 p.m. Nov. 20.
Officers executed a search warrant at the house around 1:23 a.m. Nov. 21. Inside, they found a live round of 9mm ammunition and a spent 9mm shell casing, as well as drugs and drug paraphernalia. Clark was not located at the residence. Using a second search warrant, police accessed Clark’s cell phone records and tracked him to a friend’s house in the Silverdale area. Clark was located in a vehicle being driven by the friend and arrested without incident around 5:35 a.m. Nov. 21.
During his interview at the police station, Clark initially said Hutton had entered his home the night before, confronted him for unknown reasons and pulled out a handgun. Clark said he and Hutton then got into a physical fight and the gun somehow went off, shooting Hutton. After police told Clark what they had learned earlier about the shooting, Clark changed his story to one similar to his girlfriend’s. Clark said he shot Hutton after Hutton lunged at him during their argument, because he was afraid that Hutton would hurt him.
Following the interview, police took Clark back to the friend’s residence, where he retrieved the gun used in the shooting, a FMK 9mm pistol, from the bed of a truck where he had placed it.
During their investigation, police also learned of an incident a few days prior to Hutton’s death where Clark allegedly shot at his girlfriend at his Ark City residence. When asked about it, Clark said they had been arguing, but he was too intoxicated during the incident to remember if he had shot at her. The affidavit shows charges of aggravated assault and criminal possession of a weapon added to the complaint, along with drug charges.