Man gets life in prison for murder-for-hire

Jean Pierre Devaughn, 29, of Clayton County, shot and killed his cousin, 35-year-old Eric Clark, of Fairfield, Ala., on Dec. 13, 2005, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office said. Clark's wife, Constance Shinell Clark, arranged for the killing to cash in on the insurance policy, prosecutors said.

Clark's mother, Janice Clark, talked about the family's loss prior to Devaughn's sentencing.

She told Judge Stephanie Manis that her son was a compassionate, caring man who was killed by someone he trusted.

"Not seeing his lovely face and smile has been hard for our family," she said. "Eric was loved so much and he was brutally murdered and left like trash."

"This man has taken his life and shown no remorse," Clark said of Devaughn, who sat shackled at the defense table, his head hanging down. "He destroyed our son and we will never be the same."

Clark had driven to Atlanta the day he was murdered with $500 cash to get discounted alcohol for a party he was bartending, prosecutors said. Authorities learned that in the months before he died, Clark's wife had secured a $500,000 life insurance policy on her husband, prosecutors said.

Constance Clark is currently serving a federal prison term for identity fraud. She will be tried at a later date in Fulton for her husband's killing, the DA's office said.

Devaughn, who was indicted in May 2009, had been allowed to remain free on bond until a Fulton jury found him guilty on Monday.

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