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New Mexico man accused of tire iron death accepts plea deal

Vernon Clark Vernon Clark |  Photo: Las Cruces Sun News / Courtesy photo

The Associated Press
September 19, 2017 07:58 PM

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico man who is accused of killing another man by throwing a tire iron at his head has taken a plea deal to lesser charges.

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The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Monday that 37-year-old Vernon Castle Clark pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, instead of second-degree murder, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Clark is accused of killing 33-year-old Jose Lopez-Perez, who was found dead at a house in February 2016 with a tire iron lodged in his head.

Authorities say Clark told them he threw the tire iron in an attempt to scare Lopez-Perez.

As part of the deal, prosecutors will seek an enhanced sentence based on Clark's previous convictions but will cap recommendations at 14 years. Clark has been scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 26.

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