No new trial for man convicted in 2014 Lancaster bar shooting, killing 1; wounding 2

Lamar Clark

LANCASTER, Pa. –  A Lancaster City man serving an 87-year sentence for killing a bystander when he opened fire at a crowded city bar in 2014 is not getting a new trial, a state appeals court ruled.

Lamar D. Clark was convicted of 3rd-degree murder, aggravated assault, and numerous other counts following a jury trial last year over the November 7, 2014, shooting at Shenk’s Café on East Chestnut Street.

Shenk’s Cafe shooting

Clark, 30, fired five shots, killing 54-year-old Barry Diffenderfer and wounding a man and a woman, according to testimony presented by Assistant District Attorney Mark Fetterman. Lancaster County Judge James Cullen jailed Clark for 38 ½ to 87 years.

Clark, in a request for a new trial, provided three allegations:

– There wasn’t enough evidence to support convictions on two counts of aggravated assault;

– The trial judge should have issued an instruction to jurors on Clark being the subject of a planned robbery;

– Fetterman made an improper statement in closing argument to the jury.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Tuesday denied Clark’s request with these explanations on each allegation:

– Witnesses testified that Clark pointed a gun at one victim and his intent of that action transferred to the woman who also was wounded.

– Clark’s defense that he was being set up for a robbery was “vague and speculative,” thus no instruction to the jury was necessary.

– Fetterman’s statement in closing about him, as an officer of the court, not offering any preferred treatment to an eyewitness with a pending criminal case was appropriate and in response to a defense allegation.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew LeFever assisted in prosecution. Lancaster city police Detective Stanley Roache filed charges in the case.