New London package store murder case to be retried

Jury selection began Monday for the re-trial of the man accused of gunning down Jared Silva in front of his New London package store in October 2007.

Gary L. Clarke, 25, is accused of murder, felony murder and first-degree robbery. The state plans to begin presenting evidence in the case on May 15.

Clarke’s first trial, in January 2011, ended in a mistrial when the jury indicated it was unable to reach a verdict. The upcoming trial will involve the same players: State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan is prosecuting the case, defense lawyer Jeremiah Donovan is representing Clarke and Judge Arthur C. Hadden is presiding.

The attorneys will be picking 12 regular jurors and four alternates to serve on the panel.

Clarke is accused of fatally shooting Silva, 47, in front of the Jared’s Packy at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Squire Street during a botched robbery on Oct. 12, 2007.

Testimony at the first trial revealed that Clarke was standing over Silva’s body when police arrived and that his cellphone was found in a pool of blood between Silva’s forearm and torso. There was little other physical evidence to link Clarke to the murder, so the case hinged in large part on the credibility of associates of Clarke, who were called as state’s witnesses.

— Karen Florin

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