Teddy bears, candy and urination at accused red light shooter hearing

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Teddy bears and candy bars are not a pair of things you typically what you would associate with a court of law.

But they became as present as a gavel and black robe on Thursday morning.

Clifford Clark stands accused of shooting out a red light camera with a high powered rifle.

As he walked into on Thursday, he made a beeline for some members of the media, and handed them each a teddy bear.

The bear’s were all wearing shirts that read “Save the Cliff.”

Clark also planned to hand out candy bars, until an officer told him food was not allowed in courtroom.

When the hearing finally got started, the gift bearer wound up representing himself.

"It was an adrenaline rush,” he said, “I was scared nervous and I enjoyed it. I also sky dive and fly acrobatics, but I did like that adrenaline."

During his hearing, Clark cross examined one of the witnesses.

“Point out the damage, for the court, to this camera," he asked.

"You can't on that camera picture," replied the witness.

“Why not,” asked Clark?

"It's a poor quality picture," said the witness.

“Well I think we have a poor quality witness,” Clark replied.

Even though the case has now been bound to the grand jury on two felony counts, Clark had love for everyone in the courtroom.

"I actually like the prosecutor, there are very few people that I've met in this episode that I didn't like,” he said. “Even though she was somewhat combative and somewhat insulting, I thought she was a great lady, and I thought the judge was a wonderful person."

Clark said he has degrees and graduate work in engineering, psychology and nursing.

Even with the potential for prison time if convicted, he claims to not be too worried.

"If by some miscarriage of justice I am convicted of anything, I'll be an exceptionally good criminal,” he laughed, before saying just kidding. “I 'm probably going to be the most educated criminal in prison."

When asked after court if he shot the camera, Clark said no.

He did however say he would admit to urinating in public, a misdemeanor which he claims is the reason he stopped in the area where the shots supposedly came from.

Clark was also unsure if he would continue to represent himself if the grand jury indicts him, but Judge Andrew Jackson did tell him he did a good job representing himself during the hearing.


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