Mother of victim in OD death speaks out

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Knoxville (WVLT) - The man accused of murdering a Knox County woman is free on bond. Rick Clark is charged with killing Penny Welch.

Family members are thrilled about the charges. In an exclusive interview with Clark, he maintains his innocence.

This trailer at 2105 Campbell Road in Knoxville has a haunting past. Four women have taken their final breaths here where Rick Clark lives.

"I hope he goes to jail for a long time," said Betty Pike, the mother of one of the women who died at Clark's home.

Betty Pike is the mother of Penny Lynn Welch--the fourth woman to die at Clark's home.

"Four girls how many more has to go before he goes?" Pike said.

Clark's wife, Theresa Bozeman died there in 2000, followed by Kara Kirby in 2004 and Penny Bright in 2005. Betty was happy to hear police arrested Clark.

"We finally got some justice maybe a little and a whole lot of satisfaction," Pike said.

Police charged Clark with second degree murder instead of first.

"We didn't feel we could prove it was premeditated that he was trying to kill her," Knox County Sheriff JJ Jones said.

Welch had a lethal dose of morphine in her body when she died according to autopsy results.

"We feel he facilitated the injection and she ultimately died," Jones said.

Sheriff JJ Jones says they have two witnesses who confessed to watching Clark inject morphine into Welch's body, but Clark doesn't know how.

"They say they had a couple witnesses on TV. There was only one girl here, I don't know where the couple of witnesses come from," Clark said.

Now Pike and Clark wait for the trial to see what jurors think about the deaths in this trailer. Sheriff Jones says it's unlikely any other charges will be brought against Clark for the other 3 deaths.

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