A murder victim’s final moments are full of fear, pain, and agony as the person’s hope for escape or rescue is replaced by the realization that their life is about to be cut short by a sadistic or unhinged killer.
In 2000, a jury heard the painful and agonizing way an innocent 20-year-old’s life was taken from her by her former roommate. As a result, the jury sentenced the man to death so he would also know what it was like to have his life cut short. According to witnesses, however, the killer’s final moments were more disturbing than they could have imagined.
May 19, 1998
According to authorities in Texas, May 19, 1998, was the last day 20-year-old Christina Muse was ever seen alive. That evening, Muse had gone over to her former home in Tyler, Texas to visit her former roommates, Troy Clark, and his girlfriend, Tory Gene Bush. Muse had only intended on making a short social visit to Clark and Bush, who she had only lived with for a short time. However, according to the police, Clark and Bush had another, more sinister plan for the evening that had stemmed from their paranoia.
Clark and Bush both used and sold methamphetamine and during the time that Muse had lived with them, she witnessed them on multiple occasions using and selling the drug. As a result, they had become paranoid that she would notify the police about their activity after she moved out.
Instead of waiting to see if Muse would inform the police about the couple’s drug operation, the police claim that Clark decided to silence her before she ever got the chance. So on the night of her social visit, Clark made his move to carry out his plan.
Silencing Muse For Good
On the night of May 19th, Clark shot Muse with a stun gun. Once she was subdued, he proceeded to use duct tape to bind her hands and legs together. He also used the tape to cover Muse’s mouth so that she couldn’t scream for help. After that, he dragged her down the hall and stuffed her in a closet.
Business As Usual
Over the next few hours, Muse was left bound in the closet not knowing what Clark planned to do with her or what her fate was. Meanwhile, Clark acted as if nothing was wrong and played video games for a few hours and sold drugs to customers who came to the home.
After several hours, Clark returned to the hall closet and moved Muse to the bathroom, where he intended to silence Muse for good. Clark then started hitting Muse with a heavy wooden board at that point. According to the police, Clark wasn’t alone in the attack.
Clark had threatened his then-girlfriend into helping carry out his plan. After being beaten with the wooden board, Muse was in bad shape, but she was still alive. So Clark called Bush into the bathroom and forced her to help him drown Muse in the bathtub, which ultimately killed the 20-year-old.
Disposing of The Body
Once Muse was dead, the couple stuffed her body into a barrel. Clark and Bush then poured a water, cement, and lime mix into the barrel, which Bush had gone out and purchased that night. The couple then covered the top of the barrel with trash and dumped it in a ravine.
Over the following months, however, police searched for Muse, who seemed to have vanished out of thin air. However, their investigation eventually led them to Muse’s former roommates after the couple’s friend, Tracy Mize, a defendant in a federal drug case, promised them information about Muse’s murder in exchange for leniency.
Unfortunately, Mize suddenly disappeared while helping authorities with their investigation into Muse’s disappearance and murder. According to the police, they believed Clark and Bush had discovered Mize was informing on them and made sure to silence her as well.
A New Informant
By that point, however, investigators already knew that Clark and Bush had something to do with Muse’s death, so they got Bush to turn on Clark and cooperate with their investigation. Bush admitted to the police what happened and what Clark forced her to do to Muse.
Four months after Muse went missing, Bush lead police to the ravine off Texas Highway 64, which was on a piece of property outside of town that belonged to Clark’s landlady. While searching the property, police found the barrel with Muse’s body inside.
The Second Discovery
According to police, they also found Mize’s body floating in a septic tank on the property. “When you actually are out in a field, and you see a barrel with a woman’s body being taken away and a septic tank is opened up and you see another individual floating face down in it, it really grips you,” prosecutor David Dobbs later told media.
Police immediately arrested Clark, who had previously served time twice for possession of a controlled substance and was on parole at the time. In 2000, Clark finally went to trial for the murder of Christina Muse. During the trial, prosecutors presented the evidence they had found and a number of witnesses that testified against Clark.
One witness testified that Clark had not only killed Muse but also killed Mize and another man. They also testified that Clark had also raped a woman. Bush, who was also on trial for Muse’s murder, testified against Clark and gave a detailed account of Muse’s final moments.
“I have no doubt in my mind that Troy Clark killed Christina Muse and Tracy Mize,” prosecutor David Dobbs told the jury. “I’m not an expert on what causes this. I’m not an expert on what mitigation may have happened in his life. I just know that my job as a prosecutor for Smith County was to make sure our streets are safe. And our streets are safe without Troy Clark on them.”
A Bizarre Request
Despite the overwhelming evidence and witness testimonies, Clark insisted he was innocent and even claimed that Bush was the real mastermind of the murder. During the trial, Clark also took the stand, which his lawyers urged him not to do. “I really ain’t got no story to tell. It’s just I want the death penalty,” he told the court. At the end of the trial, the jury found Clark guilty and sentenced him to death. Bush was also sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in the murder.
18 Years Later
For the last 18 years, Clark has been in prison awaiting his death. The entire time, he’s maintained his innocent in Muse’s murder. On September 26, 2018, 20 years after Muse was murdered, justice was finally served after 51-year-old Clark was put to death by lethal injection.
Clark’s Final Moments
According to witnesses, Clark again denied he was guilty of Muse’s murder in his final moments. “I’m not the one who killed Christina,” Clark said. “But, hey, whatever makes you happy.” Clark then addressed his friends and said he loved them. But what he did next, left witnesses disturbed.
Justice Finally Served
As Clark was injected with a lethal dose of the sedative pentobarbital, he continued to joke and laugh. “I feel it,” he said during his execution. According to witnesses, Clark said the injection “burned going in.” Clark then started grunting, gasping, and then snoring. Then, 21 minutes later, Clark was pronounced dead, which made him the 17th inmate put to death in the United States in 2018.
Death Row Inmate Offers Disturbing Last Words Before Sentence Is Carried Out is an article from: LifeDaily