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Man Gets 76 Years For Breaking Into Woman's Home, Killing Unsuspecting Man Who'd Come By To Run An Errand
Danny Clark had broken into a Indiana home to lay in wait for the homeowner when prosecutors said Neil Toosley came by the property to run an errand and was attacked.
An Indiana man was sentenced to 76 years behind bars for brutally bashing a man’s head in and then setting the body on fire.
Danny Clark was handed down the sentence Friday more than a month after he was convicted by a Pulaski County jury of murder, arson, abuse of a corpse and other charges connected to the death of Neil Toosley, according to WBND.
Clark had allegedly entered a rural Medaryville home of a woman in August of 2018 without permission, carrying a shotgun, according to a statement from Prosecutor Kelly Gaumer’s office.
He waited inside the home for the homeowner to return. While waiting, Toosley came by the house to run an errand and was brutally attacked.
Toosley’s brother, Brian Toosley told WNDU in 2018 that his brother had been watching his girlfriend’s home while she out of town at the time.
According to prosecutors, once Toosley got inside, Clark pointed the gun at him and ordered him to the ground. Clark then delivered “several fatal blows” to the back of Toosley’s head.
Clark set the home on fire and then stole Toosley’s vehicle before making a getaway.
Firefighters arrived to find the house engulfed in flames and later found Toosley’s body face down near the front door.
The coroner would later determine that Toosley, who had died from blunt force trauma, had been burned on 80 percent of his body, prosecutors said.
After the killing, Clark fled to Louisiana, where he was arrested two weeks later.
When he was interviewed by investigators, Clark initially told authorities that after attacking Toosley, he noticed the man “started bleeding, shaking and, and he stopped moving, and I realized that I thought I’d killed him.”
He later claimed, however, that the death had been an accident, prosecutors said.
During the trial, Gaumer presented medical evidence that showed that Toosley had suffered “severe head trauma commonly seen in car accidents” and had five impact points on his skull.
It took a jury just four hours to find him guilty of all charges against him.
After the verdict last month, Gaumer called the death “inexcusable” and described Clark as a “dangerous man.”
“Clark had many other options, and all of them were better than beating a person who was already on the ground,” Gaumer said. “There was just no reason for this, and, if not for Clark’s actions, Mr. Toosley should still be alive.”
Oxygen.com reached out to Gaumer on Monday but did not receive an immediate response.
Clark received 60 years behind bars for the murder, WBND reports. An additional 15 years of his overall sentence was connected to the arson, abuse of corpse, resisting law enforcement and auto theft charges. An extra year was also added for an invasion of privacy charge.
The sentences will be served consecutively.
Brian Toosley described his brother Neil in 2018 as a father of five, who had been deeply committed to his family.
“He was the guy that they always turned to when something wasn’t going right and Neil always made it better,” he said.