The man accused of killing a 17-year-old budding social media influencer made his first appearance in court on Monday wearing a bulletproof vest.
Brandon Clark, 21, is accused of brutally murdering Bianca Devins in upstate New York a little over a week ago. Clark then uploaded images of her dead body to various social media apps, police say. The images prompted social media users to make frantic phone calls to police leading investigators to find Clark near Devins' body, which had been covered with a tarp on a dead end street in Utica. Authorities say Clark started stabbing himself as they approached. He has been charged with second-degree murder and was transferred to jail on Thursday after being released from the hospital. Wounds on his neck are visible in his mugshot.
Cameras were not allowed in court during Clark’s first court appearance but the alleged killer was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest. He was brought into the room by five officers, according to WKTV in Utica.
Devins’ grandfather Frank Williams was at the courthouse and told WKTV that he appreciated the outpouring of love from the community.
“The people that have sent their love, their prayers and their support, we feel them, we feel them deeply. We don't know how we would've gotten through this terrible journey we have to go down without their love and support. Kim, Bianca's mother, is very, very grateful to everyone for their positive feelings and expressions of sympathy,” he told the outlet.
Devins and Clark were in a sexual relationship, a relationship that began off Instagram a few months back, according to police. Just before Devins’ murder, the two were returning upstate from New York City where they attended a concert together. Before allegedly killing Devins, Clark began uploading photos with cryptic text to social media. Then, he allegedly slit Devins throat with a knife before proceeding to upload more and more graphic photos of the crime scene, some of which went viral.
Clark is expected to be back in court Thursday for a felony hearing. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
Devins was remembered at her funeral last week for her generosity, talent and her love of the color pink.
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