Saturday, April 26, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Roxanne Doll's Killer Lashes Out At Girl's Parents

Seattle Times Snohomish County Bureau

EVERETT - Convicted murderer Richard M. Clark finally spoke - but not in remorse.

At the Everett man's formal death sentencing yesterday for the 1995 rape and slaying of 7-year-old Roxanne Doll, a judge asked if he had anything to say.

"Yes I do," replied Clark, matter-of-factly. "I have sympathy for the 7-year-old girl - what had happened to her - but for the Iffrig family (Roxanne's parents), they're the murderers."

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Thorpe then affirmed the death sentence handed down to Clark a week ago by a jury.

"In view of what your life could have been and in view of the tragedy of Roxanne Doll's final minutes of life, it is with profound sadness but with no regret that I sentence you . . . to death."

As Clark, wearing a blue jail uniform, was led from the courtroom, he ignored repeated questions from reporters asking him what he meant by calling Roxanne's family "murderers."

Even defense attorney Bill Jaquette said he didn't fully understand Clark's comments.

Tim Iffrig, the murdered girl's father, jumped from his seat the moment Clark accused the family.

As he hurried down the hall, Iffrig said he had to leave because of his violent feelings toward Clark. He said he was carrying a pocketknife and it would take only a moment to attack Clark. Though he said he wouldn't mind serving prison time for that, another trial would be too hard on his family.

"I can't put them through the pain and anguish if I took him out like that," Iffrig said.

Later, a security guard said that as Iffrig left the courthouse, he angrily pulled out a black knife and, unfolding its 4-inch serrated blade, announced the court's metal detectors were worthless.

State law allows pocketknives in courtrooms, said Snohomish County Sheriff's Lt. Robin Haas. A 4-inch knife isn't considered a weapon, he said. "Even if (the machine) had picked it up, he would have been able to keep it," Haas said.

Before Clark, 28, spoke, Gail Doll-Iffrig, the dead girl's mother, tearfully read a three-page statement about how much the family missed Roxanne. And she spoke of Clark:

"I believe people like him are rabid animals that should be euthanized."

After Clark was sentenced to death, Jaquette appealed the conviction and sentence on numerous grounds, including the denial of a change of venue in the case.

The appeal, which goes directly to the state Supreme Court, will be handled by new defense attorneys, who will review the entire record and raise other issues. Additionally, the state Supreme Court automatically reviews the sentences of all death-penalty cases. Attorneys for Clark also will have the option to make other appeals to state and federal courts.

Before the proceedings yesterday, Jaquette unsuccessfully requested Thorpe to recuse himself because of "an appearance of bias" after Thorpe was quoted in a newspaper as saying at the trial's conclusion he was "persuaded" Clark committed the crime.

On March 31, 1995, Clark, a friend of Roxanne's family, had been drinking heavily with Iffrig and others. That evening, while Roxanne's mother was at the movies and Iffrig was passed out on the couch, Clark abducted Roxanne from her south Everett house. He raped her and stabbed her in the neck at least seven times, later dumping her body on a brushy north Everett hillside.

Later, he returned to the Doll-Iffrig residence and partied all night with Iffrig.

On April 15, a jury convicted Clark of aggravated-first-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping. Three days later, jurors decided Clark should get the death penalty, joining 12 other men on death row in Washington.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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