“It just honestly was so hard knowing he’s out and she’s gone.”
Crystal Day says that was her immediate reaction after learning that her cousin, Holden Clark, was released early from prison for killing his mother, Pamela Clark.
In June of 2016, Holden Clark was sentenced to 35 years after pleading guilty to first-degree murder. But he was released last November after just several years behind bars at a state juvenile detention center. He’s now 19 years old and will be on parole until 2050.
Still, the early release was a shock for Day who says she and other family members gave victim impact statements in the aftermath of the gruesome crime.
“The smell, the blood — having to scrub it off the floors and clean it off the walls, off the ceiling fan,” Day remembered about the crime scene. “Having to go back through all that and then for him to just get out. It wasn’t right.”
According to Day, Holden Clark was released on November 30, 2018 because he successfully completed programs within the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, coupled with good behavior. KRIS 6 News has requested details and confirmation from the TJJD, but has yet to receive that information.
However, Day isn’t convinced that his time behind bars has really rehabilitated her cousin.
“Does three years get you that at 19? Are you that far in life to where you’re not going to slide down that slope again?” Day questioned about Clark’s time behind bars. People do more time for drugs and he left his mother in a trash can.”
Day also says her aunt and other victims deserve better. She hopes there will eventually be reform in the state’s juvenile justice system to make sure serious offenders have serious consequences.
“Juvenile or not, a life is a life and that should not ever be taken lightly.”
Although she’s not in contact with her cousin, Day has this message for him.
“Holden, I love you to death. I’m hurt. I pray that you got the help that you need and I pray that you never, ever do this again but it doesn’t take the pain away,” Day said, fighting back tears.
“Life broke when she left and it can never be fixed.”
Holden Clark now lives in a sober living home in Kerrville.