San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY 222 E. Weber Ave., Room 202, Stockton, CA
P. O. Box 990, Stockton, CA 95201
T (209) 468-2400 | F (209) 465-0371
TORI VERBER SALAZAR District Attorney Scott A. Fichtner Assistant District Attorney Kristine M. Reed Assistant District Attorney James Bojko Chief Investigator
News from the Office of District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar
For Immediate Release
December 24, 2019
CONTACT: Angela Hayes, Deputy District Attorney
T: (209) 468-2400 | E: Angela.Hayes@sjcda.org

Robert Clark Sentenced to 40 Years to Life in Prison for Revenge Murder

Stockton – Today, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that on Monday, December 23, 2019, the Honorable Xapuri Villapudua sentenced Robert Arthur Clark, 29, to 40 years to life in state prison for the murder of victim William Sodders, 60, of Stockton which occurred in 2017.

“I have vowed to prosecute the drivers of crime in this county, in particular, those who use firearms to kill. Our deputy district attorneys are well equipped to handle these types of cases, and the judges in this county are willing to impose the strongest penalties,” said District Attorney Verber Salazar. “I hope people will think long and hard before resorting to gun violence to settle personal disputes.”

According to court records, on May 27, 2017, Clark shot the victim at a residence near Field Avenue in the City of Stockton. Body cameras worn by the responding Stockton Police Officers captured a dying declaration by Sodders identifying the defendant as the person who had shot him. Sodders died a short time later at San Joaquin County General Hospital. Evidence presented at trial revealed the defendant had sought to exact revenge against the victim because Sodders allegedly assaulted a woman known by the defendant.

On May 15, 2019, a San Joaquin County jury convicted the defendant of Second Degree Murder (P.C. §187(a)) and found true a firearm use enhancement (P.C. §12022.53(d)). Earlier this month, Judge Villapudua denied a motion by the defendant for a new trial. During that hearing, it was revealed that in October of this year, the defendant married a former juror in the matter who had been removed from the jury during the deliberation stage and replaced with an alternate juror.

This case was investigated by Detective Joe Bitondo who was the lead investigator for the Stockton Police Department Homicide Unit. A special thank you to Deputy District Attorney Ted McGarvey, who successfully prosecuted his fourth homicide of the year and will continue to fight for the good people of San Joaquin County.