Guilty of man­slaugh­ter

Joel Lawrence Clow awaits sen­tenc­ing for 2015 death of Traci Lynch

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - RYAN ROSS

A P.E.I. man who killed his for­mer girl­friend in 2015 and cov­ered her in a pile of de­bris has pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter.

Joel Lawrence Clow en­tered the plea be­fore Jus­tice Terri MacPherson in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Char­lot­te­town Tues­day where he ap­peared along­side his lawyer.

As he stood at the de­fence ta­ble, his hair tied back in a short pony tail, Clow re­sponded by say­ing “sure do” as MacPherson asked him sev­eral ques­tions and whether he un­der­stood the con­se­quences of his plea.

Clow was ini­tially charged with the first-de­gree mur­der of Traci Lynn Lynch in Pleas­ant Grove and went to trial after plead­ing not guilty.

In 2017, Jus­tice Nancy Key found Clow guilty of sec­ond­de­gree mur­der and sen­tenced him to life in prison with no chance of pa­role for 17 years.

Clow ap­pealed Key’s de­ci­sion and ear­lier this year the P.E.I. Court of Ap­peal sent the mat­ter back to the Supreme Court for a new trial.

In the ap­peal court’s de­ci­sion, Jus­tice John Mitchell wrote that based on sev­eral er­rors Key made he be­lieved it was un­safe to up­hold the guilty verdict.

At the nine-day trial, Clow ad­mit­ted his ac­tions caused Lynch’s death in the early hours of July 24, 2015 in Pleas­ant Grove, but the de­fence ar­gued he didn’t have the nec­es­sary in­tent to kill her for it to be con­sid­ered mur­der.

The po­lice found Lynch’s body on Clow’s prop­erty in a wheel­bar­row cov­ered with sev­eral items, in­clud­ing a blanket, a pil­low, a tarp, fishing tubs and a rain slicker.


An au­topsy found Lynch was beaten and had in­juries to her face, torso, neck, back and ex­trem­i­ties.

She died of stran­gu­la­tion and a blunt-force blow to the head.

Dur­ing the trial, Key re­viewed 62 ex­hibits and heard tes­ti­mony from 25 wit­nesses.

That in­cluded evidence about Clow’s drug and al­co­hol use on the night of Lynch’s death.

Anal­y­sis of a blood sam­ple take from Clow found al­co­hol, metham­phetamine, THC, a co­caine me­tab­o­lite and a seda­tive.

One ex­pert wit­ness the de­fence called tes­ti­fied it was his opin­ion Clow could have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a drug-in­duced psy­chotic state while another said he would have been “grossly intoxicate­d” when Lynch died.

With Clow’s guilty plea, MacPherson ad­journed the mat­ter un­til Mon­day when the lawyers for both sides will make their sub­mis­sions on a sen­tence.


Joel Clow, seen here after his ar­rest for the death of Traci Lynch, en­tered a guilty plea Tues­day to man­slaugh­ter.

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