SACRAMENTO — After four days behind bars, Stevante Clark walked out onto Sacramento’s I Street in good spirits around 4:40 Monday afternoon.
“I feel like a free man, it feels good. All the negativity I’m hearing about me on the outside don’t feel good but I don’t care,” Clark said. “I do this for my last name, not my first. I just hope that everybody loves everybody.”
Focused on love after his release, earlier in the day Clark walked into court smiling.
“How ya doing sir?” Clark asked Judge Patrick Marlette, ready to answer to charges that his family says were sparked by the mental breakdown he’s suffered since his unarmed brother Stephon was shot to death by Sacramento police in their grandmother’s backyard.
He was much less animated than he has been at protests or one of the city council meetings demanding justice for Stephon Clark.
That arrest came after a destructive clash with his roommates inside their Acacia Avenue home, a round of deadly threats and what investigators say were repeat harassing calls to 911.
The felony threat charges against him were dropped down to misdemeanors, leading to the ruling that he could be released on his own recognizance. There are conditions.
Clark quizzed the judge about one of them before agreeing.
“One is that you obey all laws,” Judge Marlette said. “Number two, you don’t make any 911 calls unless they’re an emergency.”
“What about non-emergency?” Clark asked.
“That you can’t do,” the judge responded.
The 25-year-old also cannot contact the people he was accused of threatening and must stay away from their home.
He did question Judge Marlette about getting his belongings. The brand new lawyer now defending Clark, Jeffrey Fletcher, said he felt confident his client could comply with the conditions and that the proper arrangements would be made for him to get his things from the house.
“Talk to my attorney… talk to my attorney,” Clark’s grandmother said just outside of the Department 62 courtroom.
Relatives, who have frequently spoken out on Stevante Clark’s behalf, were not willing to speak Monday about the terms of his release or what they’ve called his bipolar disorder and schizophrenia that prompted prosecutors to make a suggestion:
“We would invite Mr. Clark to make an application to our mental health court. That might be something that might be beneficial to him. So if he is interested, I would suggest council contact Chris Carlson about submitting the appropriate paperwork to get that process started to see if he would qualify.”
Fletcher wouldn’t share an opinion about that idea, saying, “At this point, we can’t really comment about it because we’re still getting familiar with the case.”
Stevante Clark’s next court date will be in Department 4 on May 9.