A Martinsville man who has been released on bond while awaiting his next court date has been indicted by a Henry County Grand Jury on charges of first-degree murder.
Demario Devonte Clark, 27, who twice was denied bail before being freed, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in the shooting death of Jayland Jovan Sandoval Gonzalez, 23, of Martinsville, who was was pronounced dead at Sovah Health-Martinsville on Nov. 1.
Gonzalez had been shot several times in the torso, a release form the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated, allegedly during a party both he and Clark attended at 73 Rose Lane in Martinsville.
At about 3:43 a.m. that day, the 911 Communications Center received a call from a person reporting that someone had been shot at that address, the release stated.
By the time deputies arrived, someone had taken Gonzalez to the hospital in his or her vehicle, and Gonzalez was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told deputies that Gonzalez and Clark had been arguing and that Clark had “shot Gonzalez and fled the scene,” the release stated.
Clark was found, arrested and charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was held without bail in the Henry County jail.
Four days later, Clark was denied bail during a hearing in Henry County General District Court.
But Clark appealed the decision to the Henry County Circuit Court, and on Nov. 19 bail was denied a second time.
A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 7 and then continued to March 4.
“Several commonwealth witnesses failed to appear, and the judge granted the commonwealth’s motion for a continuance,” Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Dawn Futrell said.
On May 10, Clark appeared in Henry County General District Court, where probable cause was found on both the charge of murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.
Then the issue of bail was reopened, and this time Clark was granted a $75,000 secured bond.
Clark was released later that same day.
It’s unclear what might have changed about bail after the first two denials.
Clark is due back in Henry County Circuit Court on Friday to make sure the conditions of his bond are being met and then again on July 29 to have a trial date set.
Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt.