Osborn man facing murder charge in connection with crash that caused death of DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark

Gary Downs

An Osborn man faces a felony charge of murder—second degree in DeKalb County related to a motor vehicle accident in June that caused the death of DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark.

Online court information shows 34-year-old Gary Wayne Downs has also been charged with the felonies of resisting arrest, detention, or stop by fleeing and escape or attempted escape from custody while under arrest for a felony. No bond is allowed, and an initial appearance in court is scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, October 23rd.

A probable cause statement from the Highway Patrol says the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a theft of a 12-pack of beer from Casey’s Convenience Store in Maysville, and Captain Tracy Neill with the sheriff’s office located the described pickup on southbound Highway 33 near Route O. The truck allegedly failed to yield to emergency lights and siren and increased speed to more than 100 miles per hour, crossed into the opposing lane of traffic multiple times, traveled off the right side of the road multiple times, and failed to stop at a stop sign.

Neill contacted the driver, identified as Downs, on Route M south of Highway 36 near the Osborn School. The probable cause statement notes the officer detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Downs’s breath and observed his speech was slurred and high eyes were watery and bloodshot. She requested assistance from Sheriff Clark in arresting Downs. She also requested assistance from the Patrol with field sobriety and breath testing.

Downs allegedly tried to escape from the rear passenger compartment in Neill’s patrol vehicle by pulling on a wire in the rear of the vehicle and successfully opening the rear door of the vehicle. Neill is said to have attempted to keep the door closed by pushing against it from the outside, but Downs overpowered her, pushed open the door, and left the scene on foot.

The Patrol reports Neill’s attempts to regain custody of Downs were suspended when she was told Clark had been involved in a traffic crash about half of a mile from the scene of the traffic stop from which Downs escaped and fled. Clark’s patrol vehicle was struck by an eastbound vehicle on U. S. 36 as he crossed southbound toward Route M with emergency equipment activated. An ambulance transported Clark to Mosaic Life Care in Saint Joseph where he was pronounced dead.

A crash report from the Patrol listed moderate injuries for the driver of the other vehicle, 71-year old Robert Carpenter of Diller, Nebraska, and minor injuries for his passengers, 70-year-old Susan Carpenter of Diller, Nebraska as well as 17-year-old Kaylee Carpenter and 17-year-old Lexi Cary, both of Beatrice, Nebraska.

The probable cause statement notes Downs was later located at his residence, where he was arrested and transported to the Daviess-DeKalb Regional Jail.