Cory Michael Clarke
Quite often children are chosen as weapons to strike back at the parent who is now seen as an enemy to the delusional mind of an offended ass-hat.
Cory Michael Clarke always had anger issues. In April, 2008, he was arrested for aggravated assault with a baseball bat on a 38-year-old man. Clarke hit the man several times inflicting severe head injuries before police arrived. The man sustained a head laceration.
Men like Cory Clarke are control freaks who react out of proportion to any resistance to their way of thinking. The marriage of Cory Clarke and Michelle DeRocca was likely filled with rage and violence, due largely to his psychopathic personality.
For Michelle, though, she felt blessed by having her children, eighteen-month-old Charley and seven-month-old Brook.
They say that the path to freedom begins with one small step, and in the cases involving violent partners, the first step quite often is the last act an abused spouse takes before some tragedy befalls them thanks to the abuser. Loss of control is something these men (and some women) won’t tolerate.
The divorce between Michelle DeRocca and Cory Clarke was bitter and the sticking point became the children. A recent study shows that abusive men will fight for custody as they know the children are key to controlling their ex-wives.
And, despite Cory insisting that Charley had a bruise on him that indicated someone was abusing Charley while in Michelle’s care, the court awarded Michelle full custody and granted Cory Clarke visitation rights. Clarke was also ordered to pay child support.
As for the abuse charge Clarke made, the authorities investigated but could find no substance to the claims.
So you can imagine how unhappy Cory Clarke was at this turn of events. And like any loser, Clarke was going to make Michelle DeRocca pay and pay dearly. On the first weekend of his first court ordered visit, Cory Clarke decided to act.
On July 3, 2009, while Cory Clarke had the children at his home at 3 Mill Street, Monticello, New York, investigators surmised that Clarke sodomized and raped his seven-month-old daughter, Brook. Aware that his actions would be discovered once he returned the children to Michelle, he devised an elaborate plan to cover his deed, eliminate Brook and emotionally destroy Michelle – all at the same time.
On Saturday, July 4, 2009, Cory Clarke set out on foot with Brook and Charley in a stroller which had visors covering the children. He walked over three miles to the Wal-Mart in the town of Thompson, purposely stopping at a Stewart’s and a Dunkin’ Donuts along the way to establish his alibi.
At the Dunkin’ Donuts, he showed a friend of his the two children and made some small talk before leaving at 11:58 a.m. Cory Clarke was shown entering the Wal-Mart thirteen minutes later with Charley on one side (with the visor up) and the visor down on the side he claimed Brook was in.
Clarke had several stories as to when and where he noticed that Brook was gone.
First, it was when he was waiting in line to pay for a teething ring.
Then, it was after he came out of the washroom after changing Charley’s diaper.
Finally, it was most definitely after he stopped in front of the in-store McDonald’s and gave Brook a bottle and then went to buy a teething ring.
At any rate, at approximately 12:20 p.m., Cory Clarke notified Wal-Mart employees that his seven-month-old baby girl was missing, abducted from the stroller that she was strapped in to and which surveillance tapes indicated had never been out of his arm’s reach.
Once authorities were notified, the area was essentially shut down and sealed off. The entire store and parking lot were searched and no one was allowed to enter the store or to leave. Vehicles were thoroughly checked.
A coordinated and massive search was executed by the New York State Police, three county (Sullivan, Orange, and Ulster) police departments, and the Monticello Fire Department. Michelle DeRocca, who had driven up with her parents, Andy and Kim DeRocca, from Landing, New Jersey in anticipation of retrieving her children from Clarke, was brought to the location and interviewed by the police.
An amber alert went out for the missing baby. Meanwhile, state troopers were bothered by Clarke’s cool and detached manner, and by the slight variations in his story of where and when he ultimately noticed Brook was gone.
In comparison, Michelle DeRocca was inconsolable and crying non-stop. No doubt she was aware of the tragic fact that children who are abducted by strangers are usually murdered within the first twenty-four hours.
Law enforcement immediately became suspicious as Clarke claimed the stroller was never out of his reach and that Brook had been buckled in the stroller seat the entire time. These assertions made the notion of someone quickly snatching the infant ludicrous.
State troopers pointed out the facts to Cory Clarke and he admitted that it would be hard to abscond with the child. Finally, one state trooper challenged Cory Clarke to explain the discrepancies and Clarke said, well, maybe Brook “… never made it to Wal-Mart.”
District Attorney Steve Lungren stated that:
“(It) was evident that some of the things Clarke said were not accurate. Based on our investigation, it is clear that when Clarke went to Wal-Mart, he did not have both children with him.”
When the trooper asked where she was, Clarke just stared at him and said he didn’t know.
There were other troubling signs. Cory Clarke refused to give a DNA sample. He refused to allow the police to search his Mill Street home.
Realizing that Clarke’s efforts were likely an attempt to mislead them, the authorities regrouped and began searching the area around Wal-Mart and along the route he took to reach the store on Lanahan Road.
There is a saying that God works in mysterious ways. Well, something mysterious and rather miraculous had to be working on that July 4th afternoon, because baby Brook was alive after all her father had done to her, and despite being dumped in a grassy, wooded area near an abandoned bungalow colony, despite being exposed to animals and the elements, despite no pants or diaper to protect and to keep her body warm, Brook was alive.
New York State Trooper Joe Ehrets was scouring the woods near the Wal-Mart. There, lying face down in the mud and tall grass, seventy-five feet off Lanahan Road and one hundred and fifty yards from the Wal-Mart, clad in only a shirt, was baby Brook.
As the trooper approached, he could faintly hear her crying very softly, her cries muffled by her position and location.
District Attorney Jim Farrell made this chilling conclusion:
Her cries could not be heard from the road. He never meant for her to be found. He absolutely meant for her to die.
Close to five hours after she was first reported missing, Brook DeRocca was found. The news spread like wildfire and in the Wal-Mart parking lot, people heard a joyous whoop from grandmother Kim DeRocca.
Her daughter, Michelle emerged from inside the store, holding Charley close, as the news reached her. Michelle DeRocca was taken to the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris where Brook was being examined and cared for.
It was at the Catskill Medical Center that Brook’s injuries were noted and documented.
The ecstatic jubilation exhibited by Michelle and her parents contrasted sharply to Cory Clarke’s impassive reaction. When told by troopers that Brook had been found – and found alive – Clarke responded with, “Oh, that’s good.”
The police now knew that there was definitely something wrong about Clarke’s whole report and, until they received the medical reports, authorities were considering charging him with falsely reporting an incident in the second degree.
Once the evidence of the sexual assault was gathered, the investigation continued until the district attorney’s office presented it to a grand jury. The results? Cory Michael J. Clarke was indicted by a Sullivan Grant Jury on the following charges (all felonies except for the last one which is a misdemeanour):
• Second-Degree Attempted Murder
• First-Degree Criminal Sexual Act
• First-Degree Sexual Abuse
• First-Degree Incest
• Second-Degree Assault
• Reckless Endangerment
• Abandonment Of A Child
• Endangering The Welfare Of A Child
On September 17, 2009, Cory Clarke made his appearance at Sullivan County Court for his arraignment. Clad in the latest in orange jumpsuits and matching hand and ankle bracelets, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Initially, Clarke was represented by public defender Henri Shawn, who responded to Judge Frank LaBuda’s query as to why Clarke was being kept in the Delaware County Jail in Delhi. Turns out that Clarke has been the victim of several attacks by other inmates and keeping him housed at a different jail was for his own protection.
Boo-hoo. No one protected Brook so Clarke should be treated equally – without protection. It would be kind of nice, eh?
It is maddening that the system goes to such lengths to protect violent assholes, but provides no protection to innocent babies.
As the community interest in this case was at a fevered pitch of intensity, lawyers for both sides were ordered by Judge LaBuda NOT to talk to the media. The judge stated that he did not want anything to adversely affect the defendant’s right to a fair trial due to the “emotional issues” surrounding the trial.
With that stipulation made, the trial was set for March, 2010. Cory Clarke was returned to his jail cell as he was not given bond – and, after all, who would pay his bail?
At some point, Henri Shawn was replaced by Fred Neroni. There was never any explanation given, but one wonders if Henri Shawn sprouted a conscience.
Hey, it could happen. Just sayin’.
Well, slowly the wheels of justice moved and by March 2, 2010, the trial began. Opening statements from both sides on March 2nd were given and the prosecution was handled by District Attorney Jim Farrell. In his opening remarks he said:
“This case is about the ultimate betrayal, the betrayal of a father of his own daughter.”
Farrell was able to show Clarke in the parking lot and walking through the store – at no time was the stroller away from him and at no point did he give Brook a bottle as he claimed he did. Clarke’s story about leaving the stroller while changing Charley was a fabrication as the surveillance tape showed.
Farrell also had DNA evidence to prove the unthinkable. A mixture of Brook’s DNA and Cory Clarke’s DNA was even found on his clothing.
The prosecution had the medical evidence, the surveillance tapes and the defendant’s own statements which were proven to be lies – Fred Neroni’s defense?
Well, Fred Neroni never addressed the DNA evidence. In fact, Neroni’s whole defense strategy appeared to be a variation of SODDI – Some Other Dude Did It.
Fred Neroni said Clarke did not have enough time in the thirteen minutes from Dunkin’ Donuts to Wal-Mart to dump Brook in the woods, along with her pants and diaper. Furthermore, Clarke didn’t have grass or mud on his shoes or pants.
Is it possible to go and dump a small body and still make it to Wal-Mart from Dunkin’ Donuts in thirteen minutes? Well, yes.
Is it possible to clear off any dirt and grass on the walk to Wal-Mart? Um, again, yes.
The defense was clearly grasping for something to create that infamous loophole, reasonable doubt.
Neroni stated that there were “huge” gaps in the video tape. You know, the fifteen or so minutes they have of Clarke on tape inside the store? Before he claimed he noticed Brook gone?
Neroni’s theory is that during these fleeting gaps, as Clarke goes from in focus on one camera to another, somehow, someone came along, cloaked – after all, Clarke himself stated he always had the stroller at arm’s reach – managed to lift up the visor, unbuckle Brook, grab her, push the visor back down and run away with the infant.
Of course, do all this without Brook making a sound.
Oh, and the person never shows up on the security footage that nailed Clarke.
And no witnesses either.
Naturally, on the planet Fred Neroni resides, there’s no oxygen, so one can be forgiven at the total suspension of belief required to even follow this fairy tale.
As stated before, the jury went in to deliberations on March 8, 2010. Sixty-two minutes later, the decision was reached: guilty on all counts.
It’s a wonder the jury took sixty-two minutes to reach its verdict!
District Attorney Jim Farrell also showed graphic photos of the physical damage Brook sustained as well as the diaper she had been bleeding in.
Defense attorney Fred Neroni assiduously avoided this evidence and instead continued to state that there were “wide gaps” in the evidence which raised “significant” doubts about Clarke’s guilt. Like, Clarke could not have done it with the time restrictions.
Neroni never bothers to address key evidence items like the DNA, claiming instead that:
“Whatever happened in those woods, there is no trace of anything. They found nothing on the defendant in this matter.”
The DNA evidence conclusively shows that Cory Clarke sodomized his daughter, Brook. The evidence proved the sexual abuse. The surveillance footage showed that there was no abduction.
Furthermore, given Brook’s location in the woods, Farrell made the point that Brook was meant to die. If Brook had been not found that afternoon, then she would most likely have died during the night as the weather had been unseasonably cool.
Next up was the sentencing phase. Both sides made their cases with Neroni still clinging to the reasonable doubt illusion. The judge managed to gain some justice for Brook. He essentially agreed with the prosecution to ensure Cory Clarke spent the maximum amount of time in prison for his evil acts.
Jim Farrell argued for consecutive sentences and the judge agreed.
Judge LaBuda sentenced Cory Michael J. Clarke to fifty years to life. Clarke received the maximum of 25 years for attempted murder and the maximum of 25 years to life for predatory sexual assault against a child. Oh, and he was sentenced on the other charges as well. Cory Clarke will not be eligible for parole until he is 78 years old.
Fred Neroni still maintains that the time line is not sufficient for Clarke to have committed the crime and that he plans to appeal the sentence and the verdict. Sure hope hell can accommodate Neroni’s inclusion on Clarke’s trip to the netherworld.
Referring several times to Clarke as “evil incarnate,” in passing sentence on Clarke, the judge summed up just about everyone’s feelings on Cory Clarke:
“On that day, you lost your humanity and you became evil incarnate. This was a vicious, evil act, committed beyond the pale of reason or explanation.”
Afterwards, District Attorney Jim Farrell said, “he should have been her protector, her shield from the evils of the outside world. But instead he became her assaulter, her abuser.”
The notion of him spending years behind bars for his actions is almost as satisfying as it would be to turn him loose in general population for a while.
Still, one has to take the time to be thankful he did not manage to weasel his way out of punishment, although he tried.
And I’d like to I think he’s on an express train to his ultimate punishment. I am hoping the general inmate population gets the story on this piece of shit. When they are done with him, if Cory Clarke isn’t dead, then he will be praying to be.
One can dream, can’t one?
Should Cory Michael Clarke Burn In Hell?
- Let it burn, let it burn, let it burn, burn, burn. (99%, 613 Votes)
- No, I believe his lawyer. Screw The DNA match! (1%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 618
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