Lufkin couple's baby death 2nd in 2 years - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin couple's baby death 2nd in 2 years

Mark Clark mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail. Mark Clark mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Vanessa Clark mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail. Vanessa Clark mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

A Lufkin couple charged in the death of an infant boy also lost another baby two years ago, according to an Angelina County prosecuting attorney. Prosecutors believe both deaths were the result of them sleeping with the babies.

An Angelina County grand jury indicted Mark and Vanessa Clark, both 32, with a charge of child endangerment, following the July 2010 death of their child, who was under the age of three months.

Angelina County prosecuting attorney Dale Summa said in a telephone interview Monday that Hudson Police and Child Protective Services investigated the couple two years ago after a baby died when they slept with it. No criminal charges were ever filed on that case.

Chief Jeff Burns of Hudson PD said the first child died on May 21, 2009, and the case was never brought to a grand jury because an autopsy ruled the cause of death as unknown, and police did not believe a crime was committed. The child was between the ages of four and six months, Burns said.

Summa said he could not go into details of the evidence brought to a grand jury, but that it is believed the couple intentionally and knowingly caused the baby harm.

Lufkin Police and CPS investigated the three-month-old's death.

Summa pointed out that the age of the child makes a big difference in a criminal charge.

"Sleeping with a four-year-old is very different than an infant sleeping with two adults," he said.

In a Facebook message Monday, Mark Clark said law enforcement is just trying to make an example of him and his wife.

"We love our children," he said. "We would never do anything to hurt them! Ask anyone who knows us what kind of parents we are. Promise you will get nothing but good reports! These so called DA detectives and CPS workers are just trying make an example out of us, but here's where the catch is: They're not."

The couple's attorney said they are disappointed with the indictment.

"Mark and Vanessa are entitled to the full presumption of innocence," John Tunnell said. "They will be tried in the courtroom. Vanessa and Mark place full confidence in our justice system and the fair-minded residents of Angelina County."

CPS Special Investigator Tony Jasso said parents are held accountable when they have reckless behavior.

While not confirming personal involvement with the Clarks' case, he could clarify that just sleeping with a baby isn't against the law.

However, he says a family's history plays a major role in these type of investigations.

"Basically you have to have a history for a pattern of neglect," Jasso said. "For instance, if this is not their first child death in the family."

Because the couple had completed safe-sleep training, negligence becomes an issue.

"Clearly, if they've gone through the training, been advised that after this, it's not safe," Jasso said. "There could be other factors involved. That could've not allowed to care for her child the way she should've."

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Lufkin's Community Food Drive built on woman's legacy

    Saturday, November 18 2017 9:28 PM EST2017-11-19 02:28:07 GMT
    Source: KTRE StaffSource: KTRE Staff
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
    The Community Food Drive in Lufkin is special to some because of the large amount of people it brings together from all walks of life.  "It's just like so many different people, very diverse," said volunteer, Priscilla Gonzalez. "It's just kind of cool to see all these people coming together to do one thing." For others, like Keith Kennedy, it's all about the service being provided to the greater community. "They're in miracle territory,...More >>
  • East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    East Texas seasonal hires may have helped lower statewide unemployment rate

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:26 PM EST2017-11-18 00:26:00 GMT

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>

    According to the Texas Workforce Commission, unemployment rate has fallen to a 3.9 percent since  In East Texas some holiday job openings have helped that percentage grow.  During March Target finished a 3.5 million dollar remodel that brought in new product lines. “We've actually added new positions and we've been able to accommodate additional hires because our business has escalated since then,” said store team leader, Kris Hoephner. This addition to the Ta...

    More >>
  • Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Lufkin STEM program plant trees at local schools

    Friday, November 17 2017 7:25 PM EST2017-11-18 00:25:00 GMT
    Source: KTRESource: KTRE

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>

    The 7th grade, STEM program from Lufkin joined up with some of the senior STEM students and spent their Friday, morning, planting trees at Burley Primary and Slack Elementary Schools. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly