Re-en­act­ments of Clements murder leaves fam­ily in tears

The Covington News - - Front page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

Re-en­act­ments of the murder of 53-yearold Tim Clements by co-de­fen­dants Brit­tany Beasley and Chris­tian Cald­well had fam­ily mem­bers of the slain land­scaper in tears this week, as the death penalty trial against Pablo Mal­don­ado, the al­leged ring­leader of the murder, con­tin­ues.

On Mon­day, 21-year-old Brit­tany Beasley took the stand and tes­ti­fied for hours about the days lead­ing up to the murder and those fol­low­ing it.

As Clements’ widow Bar­bara put her head down and placed her hands over her ears, Beasley showed ju­rors — some of whom stood to get a bet­ter view — how Tim Clements fell when he was first struck with a base­ball bat, and how, since he at­tempted to get back up, Mal­don­ado al­legedly be­gan strik­ing him in the back of the head with a ham­mer.

She told ju­rors that af­ter Clements had been bound by a cord with a bag tied over his head and stuffed into a closet, Mal­don­ado told Cald­well not to get any of Clements’ blood on him, be­cause he had Hep­ati­tis C. She said Cald­well joked and told them some of Clements blood had got­ten in his eyes, say­ing to her, “give me a kiss, baby.”

Beasley’s job was to clean up. She re­counted how it took her 30 to 40 trips from the front foyer area where Clements was

If you tell a 17 year old with a preg­nant girl­friend... you can get $10,000, you go for it.

— Chris­tian Cald­well co-de­fen­dant in the Clements murder trial

struck to the sink to clean up all the blood, and that she was scared when she kept hear­ing Clements mak­ing sounds in the closet. When his phone started ring­ing, she called Cald­well and Mal­don­ado — who had left to ditch Clements’ truck. She said Mal­don­ado was yelling in the back­ground and he and Cald­well wanted her to open the closet and see if he was alive and then take the phone. She re­fused, say­ing that not only was she scared that he was alive and would come af­ter her, but that she also didn’t want to look at him.

But that cav­a­lier at­ti­tude didn’t stop there. She said later that evening when they were driv­ing to McDonough so Mal­don­ado could meet a girl at a bowl­ing alley, they passed over the bridge they had thrown Clements’ body off, Mal­don­ado said he was a “sick man” and that he had talked to Clements as they drove his body to the bridge ear­lier and had given him a kiss good­bye be­fore toss­ing him over. He also al­legedly told Cald­well and Beasley, “Y’all wave, there goes Boss Man; he’s swim­ming.”

Cald­well, the co-de­fen­dant who ad­mit­ted to be­ing the first to strike Clements, took the stand Tues­day. Like Beasley, he ad­mit­ted to ini­tially ly­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors in an at­tempt to min­i­mize his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the death of Clements. But af­ter plead­ing guilty last week, he told ju­rors he was in court to tell the full truth of what hap­pened on June 11, 2009.

He said the first dis­cus­sion came up to rob Clements when he and Beasley were in bed. They had just wo­ken up and Mal­don­ado called and told him to hurry up and go where the laun­dry room was and throw some wa­ter on the floor to make it seem like the pipes had burst or leaked so that Clements could come into the house and check it out. Mal­don­ado wanted Cald­well to jump on Clements when he came into the house and take the $10,000 that he said Clements had. He said be­cause of the ur­gency in Mal­don­ado’s voice, he be­lieved him and he said he de­cided to do it. He threw the wa­ter on the floor. Mal­don­ado wanted him to jump him from be­hind, take his black pouch and run.

“My life­style...if you tell a 17 year old with a preg­nant girl­friend, and have bills too, you can get $10,000, you go for it,” Cald­well said.

But the plan didn’t work. So Mal­don­ado re­port­edly told Cald­well to get into Clements’ truck while the vic­tim was inside the house and find his money pouch. But, ac­cord­ing to Cald­well, there were sev­eral direc­tions in or­der to get into the glove com­part­ment box, and he didn’t think he could do it.

“I said I couldn’t do all that, it was too much. My hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion ain't that good... What you want me to do? Start a space­ship?”

The next day, there was an­other plan. In this one, Cald­well was to hide in the va­cant du­plex next door and hit Clements when Mal­don­ado lured him into the du­plex af­ter telling him peo­ple had been steal­ing things. In­stead of com­ing inside that day, Clements stayed out­side and called the po­lice to make a re­port, thwart­ing the plan. Cald­well said he could fight, but didn’t like the idea of hit­ting Clements. He would pre­fer to have a gun be­cause you could scare some­one into giv­ing you their money.

“That’s my idea of an armed rob­bery,” he said. “I was ready to go for an armed rob­bery.”

Cald­well re­it­er­ated the story that Beasley had told about the day of the rob­bery. He said the plan was never to kill Clements, but just to knock him out. Cald­well also said that when he first hit Clements with the bat, he went down, but was not out. It was then that Mal­don­ado came in with the ham­mer. Cald­well demon­strated on Dis­trict At­tor­ney Layla Zon how Mal­don­ado struck Clements over and over in the head with a ham­mer, but said he was still alive and “snor­ing” when they bound him and put them in the closet with a bag over his head.

He re­port­edly told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he felt like he was on “The First 48.” He also tes­ti­fied that when he and Mal­don­ado went to move the body in or­der to dump it in Snap­ping Shoals Creek, Mal­don­ado wanted him to take Clements’ head.

“I didn’t want to grab his head be­cause I’ve seen too many scary movies,” said Cald­well.

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