MALONE A 15-year-old from Constable was sentenced Monday to nine years to life in prison for murdering his adoptive mother in May 2011.
Dilan Clark pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Karen Bourdon-Clark, 45. He had earlier turned down a plea deal of 12 years to life.
Clark appeared in Franklin County Court shackled, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, and flanked by a sheriffs deputy. About a dozen family members sat in the gallery behind him. Faint sobs could be heard throughout the sentencing. Several state police investigators sat on the opposite side.
Clark appeared remorseful and apologetic when given a chance to speak. Much of what he said was unintelligible, as he was speaking through what his attorney later described as a lump in his throat.
Im sorry for what Ive done, Clark said. I wish I could take it back, but I cant.
His attorney, Steve Vanier, had said Clark will remain in juvenile detention until he turns 18 and will spend the rest of his sentence in state prison. He will be granted a year for time served and thus will be eligible for parole around 2020.
Before Judge Robert G. Main Jr. handed down the sentence, Mr. Vanier requested a sentence of seven years to life. He also said he was told by Clarks adoptive father, Ron Clark, that the lighter sentence is what Karen would want, for Dilan to be treated fairly.
A common thread in the judges and both attorneys remarks was that there was no explanation for the murder.
Mr. Vanier told the court that Clark received an evaluation from a clinical neuropsychologist that left many unanswered questions.
Special Prosecutor Kristi Sprague said the pre-sentence investigation report painted Clark as a very unpredictable young man.
Judge Main said: For now, for this horrific act, he must be punished as well as helped, and society must be protected, in light of the incredible pain and suffering that separation will bring.
On May 2, 2011, state police in Malone responded to a 911 call at 2 a.m. to find Karen Bourdon-Clark dead in her Constable home. The call was from a 14-year-old girl saying her mother was being assaulted. The 14-year-old girl, Ms. Bourdon-Clarks adopted daughter and Clarks biological sister, was not harmed.
Clark fled the scene and was found by state troopers several hours later sitting on a neighbors porch. He was taken into custody without incident.
Ms. Bourdon-Clark, a Massena native, was a guidance counselor at Flanders Elementary, having been with the Malone Central School District since 1993. She brought Rachels Challenge, a nationwide initiative aimed at curbing bullying, to the district. The program was recently renamed Rachels Challenge/Karens Hope in her memory.