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Hampden man charged with killing sister-in-law indicted for murder

Phillip Clark is accused of murdering his brother's wife. (WGME)

HAMPDEN (BDN) -- The Hampden man accused of killing his sister-in-law earlier this month was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on one count of intentional or knowing murder.

Philip Clark, 55, was charged early July 13 in the death of Renee Henneberry Clark, 49, who lived in an adjacent apartment from her brother-in-law at 557 Kennebec Road.

He is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

Clark is expected to be arraigned Aug. 13 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

[Related: Judge denied Hampden victim's protection order against alleged killer]

In response to Wednesday’s indictment, Clark’s attorney David Bate of Bangor said there is more to the story than has been made public.

“When we flesh out the indictment and the affidavits with real facts, the story is not going to get less interesting. It is not as simple as it appears.”

The Maine Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the indictment. It is the practice of the office not to comment on pending cases.

As the Maine Attorney General’s Office prepares its case against Clark, the Hampden Police Department continued to investigate an incident from July 11, two days before Henneberry Clark’s body was found, involving Clark and a Bangor-area priest.

Clark and the Rev. Anthony Cipolle were in an “altercation” at Henneberry Clark’s apartment that she witnessed, according to the affidavit filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Hampden police were called to the scene.

Hampden Public Safety Director Joseph Rogers confirmed that police were called to 557 Kennebec Road that day, but Roger declined Wednesday to comment about that call because the investigation still is pending.

Cipolle, 53, of Bangor declined last week to comment on the alleged incident.

“I have been identified as a possible witness to events in the timeframe before the death of Renee Clark,” Cipolle said in an email. “Given the circumstances, I am unable to comment or reply to any questions while the criminal process is ongoing.”

Cipolle was ordained Nov. 18, 2017, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. He was assigned to St. Paul the Apostle Parish, which includes Catholic churches in Bangor, Brewer, Hampden and Winterport. He is originally from Arlington, Massachusetts.

Henneberry Clark regularly attended Mass at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Winterport, according to her obituary.

Henneberry Clark died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the affidavit. Clark told police he emptied his green, .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun into her body, then reloaded and continued shooting her until he knew she was dead.

After shooting his sister-in-law, Clark allegedly collected the empty cartridges from the floor of her apartment and put them in a 5-gallon bucket in his bedroom with other cartridges, so they could be reloaded and used again.

The three-page affidavit does not say when Clark allegedly shot the Henneberry Clark, the mother of three grown children, or outline a motive for the shooting. It also does not say how many times she was struck with .45-caliber bullets.

Henneberry Clark was estranged from her husband, Frank “Chuck” Clark III, but had not yet filed for divorce, according to the clerk’s office at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

If convicted of murder, Clark faces 25 years to life in prison.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.


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