Justice served in Broken Arrow teenager 10-year-old cold case

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 07:46:21-04

The prime suspect in the murder of Broken Arrow high school graduate, Jarret Clark, signed a plea agreement Monday afternoon.

For around 10 years, Wagoner County grasped to find answers in the cold case investigation that baffled multiple law enforcement agencies.

Tammy and Eric Slater, Clark's parents, have lived in agony for the past decade, looking for justice for their son. Recently, Clark’s parents say they have discovered evidence to prove that their son was murdered.

In 2006, the Slaters said goodbye to their son for the last time as he left for a camping trip at Ft. Gibson Lake in Wagoner, and never returned.

"The people who murdered Jarret were the only witnesses, so all they had to do was lie," Eric Slater said.

Jarret was supposed to be home in time for a Mother's Day get-together which, according to Clark’s parents, is something the only child would never miss.

"Before he walked out that night, his last words to both of us were, 'love you guys.' What better words to be left with," Tammy Slater said.

Investigators eventually recovered his body from the lake five days later, and his death was ruled a suicide, but his parents knew better.

"The stories haven't matched from the start," Eric Slater said.

After OSBI failed to solve the case, former sheriff Bob Colbert assigned a full-time detective to the cold case.

The investigation led to the arrest of three suspects: Tony Wallen, Courtney Manzer and Dana Hargrove.

Wallen is accused of beating Clark unconscious after a fight at the campsite. Now, a decade later he's signed a plea deal, admitting to “conspiracy to commit second degree murder.”

"To me, no matter amount of what time that person may receive, it's not enough," Tammy Slater said.

Wallen will serve eight years in prison, and 12 years with supervision. Although the plea is not exactly what Clark's parent's wanted for their son, after 10 long years, a sliver of justice has been served.

As for the other two suspects, Hargrove and Manzer, the Wagoner County District Attorney expects them to plea to accessory to second degree murder.

Clark's parents want to thank all those involved in the case, and not giving up on the truth.

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