A plea deal means a woman charged in the murder of a woman last summer, and the horrific abuse of the woman's 11 year-old son, will not face life in prison. Candace Clark was charged with 11 counts in the Portage case . The 24 year-old Clark pleaded no contest to second-degree homicide and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and guilty to mayhem, child enticement, child abuse, causing mental harm to a child and false imprisonment.
Four other charges – those relating to the death of Tammie Garlin, with the exception of the homicide charge – were dropped in a plea agreement between the Columbia County District Attorney and Clark's defense attorney. Jury selection in Clark's case was to begin Monday, with opening arguments set for Tuesday in Portage. Thursday's development still leaves a trial for another defendant in the June 2007 strangulation death of the 37-year-old Garlin. Michael Sisk is scheduled to go to trial August 11. The 27 year-old Sisk faces the same that Clark faced before her plea deal was accepted. District Attorney Jane Kohlwey said her strategy regarding the case against Sisk will not be affected by the agreement.
A sentencing hearing for Clark will be scheduled after a presentence investigation is completed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Clark now faces a maximum penalty of 78 1/2 years in prison and 51 years extended supervision.