by Aaron Gibson, Editor, January 8 2016
A former Aberdeen police chief was sentenced for domestic violence Friday, Jan. 8 in Brown County Municipal Court.
Clark Gast has been ordered to serve 60 days of a 180 day sentence, undergo two years of probation, 80 hours of community service, and complete anger management classes. Additionally, he must pay a $1,000 fine.
A review is set for June 21. Gast could serve the remaining 120 days of his sentence should he be found not to be in compliance.
On Dec. 15, 2015, a jury found Clark Gast, ex-police chief for Aberdeen Police Department, guilty on one count of domestic violence, with a second count being dismissed.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Brown County Municipal Court, on Aug 11, 2013, Gast allegedly threatened his wife, Laura Gast, then grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into a wall, choking her in the process.
Clark Gast called 911 at 12:43 PM the following day claiming he had just arrived home from work and discovered his wife was dead. Investigators found Laura Gast’s lifeless body hanging from a ceiling fan. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Local newspaper Brown County Press quoted investigator Forrest Coburn as saying the investigation into the death of Laura Gast is still ongoing.
After Gast allegedly assaulted his wife, Laura’s 10-year-old daughter took photos of her injuries, which included marks and bruising on her neck, head, arms and other areas of her body. The injuries depicted in the photographs were consistent with those observed in the investigation, according to the affidavit.
Attorney Tyler Cantrell filed a 10-page motion on Nov 17 which requested all mentions of Laura Gast’s death and Clark’s alleged drug use be exempted from the trial, court records show.
In an unrelated incident, Clark Gast was arrested in Maysville, Kentucky for driving under the influence on August 18, 2013.
The second count of domestic violence against Clark Gast was dismissed, which accused him of grabbing Laura’s 10-year-old daughter by her hair and pulling her on the day preceding Laura Gast’s death. According to the affidavit, the daughter allegedly told investigators she stepped in after witnessing Clark Gast assault her mother and choke their dog.
Clark Gast resigned from the Aberdeen Police Department during a meeting in August 2012, one year prior to the suspected domestic violence incident.
—Brown County Crime Reporter, January 8, 2016 3:53 PM EST
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