A Criminal Court jury convicted defendant Kevvon Clark of premeditated first-degree murder, murder in the perpetration of kidnapping, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape and aggravated robbery.
He will automatically receive sentences of life in prison for the murder convictions, and will be sentenced on the other convictions on March 4 by Judge Paula Skahan.
The incident began on the afternoon of March 30, 2017, when Luis Santiago, 39, and his wife were robbed and abducted by Clark, then 17, and another man in the 4000 block of New Willow Road in southeast Memphis. An investigation showed that while in the vehicle, Santiago’s pickup truck, Clark forced the woman to perform a sex act on his codefendant.
She managed to escape by jumping from the vehicle at Getwell Road and Winchester Road, where she flagged down a motorist who took her to the Raines Station Police Precinct. Officers searched the area for her husband and his abductors, and the following day they found his body near his pickup truck in a remote area on Old Getwell Road not far from where his wife had escaped.
Luis Santiago’s hands were bound and he had been shot in the back of the head.
Clark’s codefendant, Jermarcus Thomas, 22, also faces charges for his role in the crime and is scheduled to be in court on Feb. 5.
The case was handled by Chief Prosecutor Eric Christensen and Asst. Dist. Atty. Dru Carpenter of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.