Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


Monday, April 29, 2024

State v. Gerald Jerome Clark

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a Stone Mountain man accused of putting a woman in the trunk of her car, shooting her and then setting the car on fire. 

On Friday, jurors found Gerald Jerome Clark, 44, guilty of Malice Murder, two counts of Felony Murder, Arson in the First Degree, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, Criminal Damage to Property in the First Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  The charges are in connection with the murder of Mary Kilpatrick, 27, on September 26, 2020. 

According to the investigation, the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department responded to a car fire in the 5000 block of Fieldgreen Circle in Stone Mountain.  After putting out the flames, firefighters discovered a body in the trunk of the car.  The remains were so badly damaged, investigators had to use DNA to identify the woman as Kilpatrick.  An autopsy revealed she was still alive when the fire was set. 

Surveillance video from a local motel showed Defendant Clark with Kilpatrick approximately an hour before the fire. 

Witnesses told investigators that Defendant Clark drove Kilpatrick’s car to a friend’s house.  People there heard someone banging for help in the trunk and confronted Defendant Clark, who pulled a gun and pointed it at the trunk.  A witness stopped Defendant Clark from shooting, and Clark drove off.

Defendant Clark then went to his cousin’s house where he asked his cousin to buy him some gas to burn the car.  The cousin purchased the gas and gave it to Defendant Clark, not knowing there was someone inside. 

Defendant Clark drove off with the gas, made a brief stop to shoot into the trunk and then parked the car on Fieldgreen Circle, where he doused the vehicle in gas and set it on fire before leaving the scene. 

Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Clark to Life without the possibility of parole plus 25 years. 

The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Scacco with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Reid White, District Attorney Investigator Antoine Winston, and Victim Advocate Christy Palmer.  DeKalb County Police Department Det. Collins led the initial investigation.