Jury finds Clarke guilty of voluntary manslaughter, recommends five years in prison

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Vicky Thomas Clarke (WDBJ7)

A jury has recommended that Vicky Clarke spend five years in prison for her voluntary manslaughter conviction. Judge Jim Updike will formally sentence Clarke at a later date.


A jury has reached a verdict in the case of a Bedford woman accused of killing her brother in October 2015.

Vicky Thomas Clarke was found not guilty of second degree murder on Thursday.

Clarke was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

She was also found not guilty of use of a firearm in commission of second degree murder.

The defense moved to strike down the jury's decision, but the judge upheld it.

Stay with WDBJ7 for an update on Clarke's sentencing.


A jury trial continued Wednesday in Bedford County for Vicky Thomas Clarke.

She's accused of murdering her brother.

Prosecutors say Clarke shot and killed Paul Thomas back in October of 2015.

On Tuesday, she entered not guilty pleas to second degree murder and firearms charges.

Several witnesses were called to testify on Wednesday, including the defendant, Vicky Clarke.

They testified that Paul Thomas' death was the result of a family dispute that lasted more than two decades.

The defense attorney says Clarke suffered years of abuse by her brother.

The final straw, according to the defense, was a disagreement over how to maintain a gravel road on the family property.

The defense says that in the early morning hours of October 1, 2015, Vicky Clarke was acting in self-defense when her brother, Paul Thomas, approached her following an incident where he was "tearing up" a private road outside the Clarke's home. "I didn't want to kill him but at that moment, I knew he was going to kill me and I needed to stop him," Clarke testified.

But the prosecutor says Clarke acted with malice when she fired a single, fatal shot at Thomas.

Clarke was the last witness to take the stand in the case.

Closing arguments will begin on Thursday.