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State Supreme Court Refuses to Review Man’s Conviction in Pasadena Murder

Published on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | 4:18 pm
 

The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a man convicted of murdering a jewelry salesman at a Pasadena gas station more than three decades ago.

Albert Ahmad Clark — who had a prior conviction from September 1980 for murder — was found guilty in 2017 of first-degree murder for the Feb. 27, 1988, shooting of Leroy Galloway.

The appeal marked the latest in a series on behalf of Clark, now 59, who is serving a 32-years-to-life state prison sentence.

In April 2020, a state appeals court panel upheld his conviction for Galloway’s killing, but ordered a lower court judge to exercise his discretion to strike or decline to strike the prior conviction.

Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis cited the “seriousness of the conduct in this case” and Clark’s “prior criminality” — another murder committed less than a decade before Galloway’s killing — in declining in October 2020 to strike the prior conviction, according to a November 2021 appellate court ruling that found there was “no abuse of discretion” by the judge.

Clark told the judge at the 2020 hearing that he was “one of the best examples of change in America,” had lived an “exemplary lifestyle disassociating with anyone even remotely suspected of wrongdoing,” coached kids at the YMCA, earned certificates in prison and saved a man’s life using the Heimlich maneuver, according to the ruling last November.

Galloway, 39, was shot multiple times near Lake Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, where he was selling jewelry out of his van.

Witnesses said they saw a suspect fleeing the area, and, based in part on the descriptions they provided, investigators eventually arrested Clark. But there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him because of the “limitations of forensic science at the time,” police said.

Galloway’s relatives approached Pasadena police in 2013 and asked them to review the case. Investigators were able to retrieve evidence that was analyzed and implicated Clark in the killing, police said.

He was listed as a client in Galloway’s business documents, according to the appellate court panel’s 2020 ruling.

DNA testing determined that a pair of gray slacks discovered in an open locker at a nearby apartment contained blood matching the victim’s DNA, and that DNA found inside the waistband of the slacks matched Clark, according to that ruling.

Clark was arrested in December 2015 in Los Angeles in connection with the killing. He has remained behind bars since then.

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