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Civil lawsuit filed against accused killer Bailey

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The first lawsuit against accused killer Jamie Bailey for monetary damages on behalf of a victim's relative was filed Sept. 10 in Dyer County Circuit Court.

Bailey, 32, has been indicted on three counts of first-degree murder after a spree in north and east parts of Dyer County on Oct. 9, 2001.

He is accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Melissa Clark, 34, of just outside Newbern; Gary Bizzle, 46, of RoEllen; and Arlen "Leon" Cryts, 66, of the Millsfield community.

Bizzle died en route to the hospital, but not before identifying Bailey as the shooter.

Dyer County Sheriff's Department investigators developed evidence linking Bailey to all three killings.

The civil complaint against Bailey was filed by Covington lawyer J. Houston Gordon, who represents Barney Ray Claunch, as next friend and/or for use and benefit to Jakob Addison Clark, a minor.

The complaint asserts that "... Jakob Addison Clark is the natural child of ... Melissa Clark ... and Claunch is the parent and next friend of Jakob Addison Clark ..." The complaint claims that Bailey and Melissa Clark "... had a personal and/or intimate relationship" and that Bailey shot Melissa Clark in the head and leg, killing her on Oct. 8 or 9, 2001. Bailey was apprehended by sheriff's deputies on the afternoon of Oct 9, 2001, while painting Melissa Clark's white car black. A tip about Bailey's whereabouts came from a woman in RoEllen who was reading about the three murders in that day's State Gazette. Deputies rushed to the scene on Carrie Street, identified Bailey as the man painting the car, and were about to confront him when he shot himself in the mouth. Bailey survived but may have permanently impaired his mental capacity, according to an evaluation from Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. District Attorney General Phil Bivens and District Public Defender Jim Horner were to travel to the mental health institute this week to speak with medical and psychological personnel there who made the evaluation. What they find may determine whether Bailey can stand trial for the murders. "We have received an evaluation of Mr. Bailey that states he is not competent to stand trial," Bivens told Circuit Judge Lee Moore last month during an appearance by Bailey on the murder charges. "They say he is not competent to stand trial because he cannot participate in his own defense and that psychiatric counseling will not help him, but they also say they could not support an insanity defense, so we really don't know exactly where to go from here." Bivens said Bailey's competency to stand trial could be the subject of a hearing, including as part of a trial. He said the evaluation found an insanity defense unsupportable because Bailey was sane at the time he allegedly committed the crimes. The complaint alleges that Jakob Clark is entitled to recover damages from Bailey, "... including loss of association of the minor with his mother ..." The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages "... not to exceed $1,500,000 along with reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees and the costs of this action." It also asks for a jury trial.

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