Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of David Wooten.
Wooten, 46, of Oneonta, was convicted in DeKalb County Circuit Court in April 2017 for the murder of his neighbor Bernie Clark.
Evidence was presented at trial that on or about November 14, 2014, while Wooten was in Clark’s residence, Wooten inflicted approximately 100 wounds to Clark’s body. Those injuries included numerous chop and incised wounds to Clark’s head, throat, arms, and hands and fractures to his skull, facial bones, and jaw. Clark died from the injuries.
Wooten admitted to killing Clark, but argued at trial that he was entitled to a jury instruction on the stand-your-ground law because he was invited into Clark’s home, and thus, had a right to be there. Even accepting the testimony most favorable to Wooten, there was no evidence presented that he was lawfully in Clark’s residence at the time Clark was killed. Furthermore, Wooten was the aggressor in the fatal confrontation with Clark.
DeKalb County District Attorney Michael O’Dell’s Office prosecuted the case. Upon conviction, the trial court sentenced Wooten to life in prison. Wooten appealed his conviction and sentence.
The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled Wooten’s case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, May 25th.