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Akron man pleads guilty in 2020 killing of homeless woman, will serve at least 21 years in prison

Kelli Ray Clark stabbed the victim multiple times before driving away in her stolen car.

AKRON, Ohio — *EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from a previous, unrelated story.

A 53-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the death of a homeless woman nearly two years ago.

Akron native Kelli Ray Clark on Tuesday agreed to accept a single charge of voluntary manslaughter, with a repeat violent offender specification. In exchange, multiple counts of murder and several lesser charges were dropped, and Summit County Judge Kathryn Michael sentenced Clark to 21-26 1/2 years in prison.

A friend of the victim found her body in the woods where she made camp back on July 21, 2020. She had been stabbed multiple times, and police quickly zeroed in on Clark, who had been living near that same area.

Authorities later arrested Clark that August as he was driving the victim's stolen car, which he had apparently asked another woman for help cleaning up. Officers say they also found a knife inside the vehicle that contained both Clark and the victim's DNA.

Court records show Clark has a lengthy rap sheet in Summit County dating back to 1989, with multiple prior convictions for domestic violence. During his time in jail during the homicide case, he was also accused of trying to escape.

The docket does not yet show where Clark will serve his sentence.

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