Jury selected, date set in trial of father charged in 2010 co-sleeping infant death case

Mark Clark. Source: Hudson Police Dept.
Mark Clark. Source: Hudson Police Dept.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A jury has been selection in the trial of Mark Clark who is charged in the 2010 death of his two month old son.

The six men, six women jury will begin hearing testimony in the case on Monday at 9am.  Two alternate jurors were also chosen.

Investigators say Clark and his then-wife, Vanessa, were indicted in 2011 and charged with child endangerment.  Investigators said the Clarks fell asleep with baby Tristan in their bed around 11:30.  They woke up to check on the baby and he was unresponsive.

A Lufkin jury found Vanessa Clark guilty of child endangerment in baby Tristan's death earlier this month.  She is currently awaiting sentencing.  She faces up to 20 years in prison.

In 2009, the couple was investigated for the death of another child who died while sleeping in bed with them.  An autopsy report of the first child's death said Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was the cause.  No trauma was found.

Prosecutors say that first baby's death becomes relevant in this more recent child's death because the couple had undergone safe sleeping training and had been advised that co-sleeping with their infant child was not safe.  Negligence now becomes an issue.  Prosecutors believe 2 month old Tristan may still be alive had the couple learned from their first son's death.

Defense attorneys contend baby Tristan's death was a 'terrible accident.'

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