Ex-girlfriend offers details at man's trial

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Kimberly Wright told a courtroom Monday she might have kept making excuses for Michael Clay, until he used his fists.

When she finally got away from him the morning of Feb. 15, 2006, her family convinced Ms. Wright she had to go to the police. This time she agreed and told deputies Mr. Clay beat her and later ran over a high school student on his way to school.

Mr. Clay's arrest on those charges, which are the only charges to be decided this week by a Richmond County Superior Court jury, led sheriff investigators to consider him a suspect in a series of brutal sexual assaults. One of the attacks left Sherry Rose Murphy, 43, in a coma until her death eight months later.

Mr. Clay has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges he faces. Defense attorney Peter Johnson told the jury in his opening statement that Ms. Wright exaggerated Mr. Clay's behavior and minimized her own role in the domestic dispute.

What happened to the high school student hit by the car was an accident, Mr. Johnson said.

Ms. Wright testified Monday that she dated Mr. Clay for about two years.

He hit, choked, slapped and generally battered her in the past, but she would accept his apologies and pledges of love and take him back, she testified.

When they got into a heated argument on Feb. 15, 2006, he punched her in the face with his fist.

She goaded him with a taunt about the quality of the punch and he hit her with a left and a right, knocking her to the floor, Ms. Wright testified.

Later that morning on their way to medical treatment, she testified, he was driving erratically when she spotted a person crossing the street.

She said she pointed the person out to Mr. Clay, but he ignored the warning.

David Barnes testified he was on his way to the school bus stop when he noticed a black car run a stop sign at East Boundary. It wasn't close enough to concern him initially and he crossed the street, he testified.

But the driver must have accelerated, Mr. Barnes testified. He was hit on the right side of his body, thrown into the windshield and tossed over the top of the car. The car kept going, Mr. Barnes said.

Mr. Barnes suffered bruising and cuts that required more than a dozen stitches. He suffered no permanent physical injury.

Ms. Wright suffered cuts and bruises also, in addition to three fractures of her jaw and the loss of several teeth.

She was unable to take any pain mediations because she was pregnant with Mr. Clay's child at the time.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (48) Add comment
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dasgaslo
0
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dasgaslo 05/19/09 - 05:22 am
0
0
put this sucker AWAY!!!!!!

put this sucker AWAY!!!!!!

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 05/19/09 - 05:35 am
0
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She's as stupid as he is.

She's as stupid as he is. Lock this idot up..

corgimom
38705
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corgimom 05/19/09 - 05:54 am
0
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"She goaded him with a taunt

"She goaded him with a taunt about the quality of the punch"- she's a wackaloon nut case. And she was pregnant, too. I hope DFACS investigates her, there is something wrong with her.

jaschild
9
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jaschild 05/19/09 - 06:20 am
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0
what a winner.

what a winner.

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/19/09 - 06:24 am
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Yes lets blame the victim. I

Yes lets blame the victim. I do not care how much some one " Goad" a person, a REAL man would never hit a female.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 05/19/09 - 06:28 am
0
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no intelligent comment can be

no intelligent comment can be made here without insulting some ethnic groups.

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 05/19/09 - 06:45 am
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Alright people, let's not be

Alright people, let's not be so quick to judge him. Na, forget it, bury this sucker. I wouldn't hit a woman but this crazy chick probably could use a couple more left and rights.

BIGDADDY1
0
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BIGDADDY1 05/19/09 - 06:50 am
0
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Im proud of my babys

Im proud of my babys moma..she can take a punch real good

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/19/09 - 06:54 am
0
0
One standard for the human

One standard for the human race. In America, I know of no " Culture" that condones abuse of anyone.

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 05/19/09 - 07:08 am
0
0
He looks guilty.

He looks guilty.

ripjones
2
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ripjones 05/19/09 - 07:21 am
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PT - This "culture" has been

PT - This "culture" has been f^&$ed up for a long time. It is time that the message is sent -- this culture is to be "disinfected". I do not understand women that do not protect innocent children from being brought into this world. This is the part of the "culture" that I want most changed. In most cases, these children become part of the welfare system that we have to support. And before anyone shoots their mouth off, I did not mention race, creed, or national origin ONCE. The problem exists everywhere. Lastly, if you are a woman, and enter into a relationship and get beat, even once, YOU are STUPID if you continue the relationship. Getting beat, does not fit into the love equation, anytime, anywhere.

justus4
113
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justus4 05/19/09 - 07:22 am
0
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This is an example of
Unpublished

This is an example of domestic abuse. It happens everyday in America. The recent professor, who killed three had some problems with his spouse and did what he did. This guy, probably not understanding his real problem is the choice of woman, is being connected to murders. Wow! A guy who hit women can be linked to murder. That only happens to a minority male individual. He fits the script. No evidence, just a hateful woman's word. Wow! And those words are probably not her words, because why would she want to send the FATHER of her child to jail? This case is an outrage and undermines the entire system because this jury is in a pickle and "we" know what it is...again, a complete disgrace to a civilized society.

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/19/09 - 07:27 am
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My Hood? West Lake? Maybe you

My Hood? West Lake? Maybe you mean my second house in One Marshall Place. The next time you have your trailer hitched and on the road, stop by you know how much we love to Bar-B- Q. By the way, the Marshall Place house is up for sale.

hurlyburly11
0
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hurlyburly11 05/19/09 - 07:31 am
0
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justus the professor had the

justus the professor had the good grace to eliminate himself also...this thug will be a drain on all of us for years to come...and will produce more of his kind further diluting the gene pool with sub-standard DNA.....................

disssman
6
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disssman 05/19/09 - 07:34 am
0
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Apparently just a little love

Apparently just a little love spat between two immature young people. Obviously the gentleman wasn't really hurting the lady because he had been doing it for 2 years. And really he wasn't going to "hurt his baby mama" would he? I am sure they were going to get married in the next 15 - 20 years or so and settle down to a comfortable family setting.

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/19/09 - 07:36 am
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This person if the charges

This person if the charges are true, is a menace to society. If found guilty he should receive the maximum sentence allowed by law.

RU4Real
0
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RU4Real 05/19/09 - 07:38 am
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Racist minds think alike,

Racist minds think alike, they just see it in different colors. It does not matter what race or culture you are from, beating someone is wrong, whether they are male or female. And the pedistran was crossing at an intersection, so he had the right of way, so how is it that the system is out to get this defendant.

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/19/09 - 07:39 am
0
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Would you want your daughter

Would you want your daughter to " settle down' with the person? What about the fine example that ran over the people at the mall this weekend?

MeinAugusta2
39
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MeinAugusta2 05/19/09 - 07:41 am
0
0
johnsmosby - FYI - Peter

johnsmosby - FYI - Peter Johnson is not a public defender. He's a private attorney.

userone
43
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userone 05/19/09 - 07:47 am
0
0
Yea, he deserves to be in

Yea, he deserves to be in prison. Not jail. I have come to the conclusion that some people deserves to be in prison. He is a prime case. Stop letting these guys get away. I am tired of hearing about thats my baby. Well it is time for that baby to grow up.

BarstoolDreamer
19
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BarstoolDreamer 05/19/09 - 08:04 am
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Yea Justus...I mean it was

Yea Justus...I mean it was his own girlfriend he was beating, and the kid he ran down was on East Boundry. I am sure the Murders were in da hood too....just let him go.

mieshel
3
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mieshel 05/19/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
I dont know who's "culture"

I dont know who's "culture" getting beat down is in, but it da%^^& sure not a part of mine. If a man would? I have a glock with his name on it. My father never put his hand on me nor my sisters, so we know better. My dad said you love and cherish your wife, and he has been and still loving my mom over 53 years.

ya-ya
83
Points
ya-ya 05/19/09 - 08:11 am
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I really wish I could see

I really wish I could see some of you racist pigs face-to-face (patriciathomas). You log onto this site just to keep crap going but I know for a fact that you wouldn't be so blatant and outspoken in public!!! Just continue to hide behind your computer screen and spew hate like the chicken @#$% you are.

trueblue
0
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trueblue 05/19/09 - 08:35 am
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andywarhol - you said

andywarhol - you said "probably could used a couple more left and rights?" Must have made you feel good.

Hepkikyo
0
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Hepkikyo 05/19/09 - 08:35 am
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This [filtered word]is accused of much

This [filtered word]is accused of much worse things than beating his girlfriend and hit and run. He will also stand trial at a later date on charges of murder, rape , aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault, robbery and aggravated sexual battery.

Who breeds these animals anyway?

rufus
2
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rufus 05/19/09 - 08:55 am
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This comment was removed for

This comment was removed for violation of the comments policy.

Tots
26317
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Tots 05/19/09 - 09:17 am
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Justus4-you say stupid stuff

Justus4-you say stupid stuff on here all the time.But your 8:22 post gets the F---ing star for today.I dont know you so I hate to pass judgement but your a real dum aws

Tots
26317
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Tots 05/19/09 - 09:19 am
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Forgot the B in dumb aws but

Forgot the B in dumb aws but you know what i mean.

ripjones
2
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ripjones 05/19/09 - 09:38 am
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And my post was removed

And my post was removed because of one word that I did not even spell OUT ??!!

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 05/19/09 - 09:43 am
0
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Peter Johnson is an excellent

Peter Johnson is an excellent defense attorney, and, no, he is not a public defender. In all probability this man will be found guilty of the charges against him at this trial, as well as subsequent charges at subsequent trials. As for the girl having this piece of trash's baby, If she hasn't already had it, her next stop should be an abortion clinic.

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