troy clark

An execution date has been set for a Tyler man sentenced to death for the 1998 drowning of a young mother in his bathtub and stuffing her body in a barrel.

Troy James Clark exhausted all his appeals and will face execution on Sept. 26, 2018. The date was announced Monday in the 7th District Court. 

The U.S. Supreme Court refused his appeal in 2017. 

Clark appealed to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012 claiming his legal help was deficient during his trial in 2000, two years after Christina Muse, who briefly lived with him, was killed. The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit rejected the claim.

Muse was tortured with a stun gun, beaten with a board, bound with duct tape and drowned. Her body was encased in a 55-gallon drum filled with cement and lime. 

Clark, 50, was convicted in 2002 of capital murder for the May 1998 murder/kidnapping of 20-year-old Christina Muse, who was believed to be killed because Clark feared she would snitch on him for dealing meth.

Evidence during the trial revealed Clark tormented Ms. Muse with a stun gun, bound her with duct tape and kept her in a closet in his Tyler home for hours.

With help from his girlfriend, prosecutors said Clark bludgeoned Ms. Muse with a board and drowned her in his bathtub.

Torygene Bush testified against Clark, her former live-in boyfriend, and received 20 years in prison for her part in the murder.

Clark's attorneys had contended Ms. Bush was the mastermind behind the plot.

Prosecutors said Clark encased Ms. Muse's body in cement and lime that he ordered Ms. Bush to retrieve from a nearby store.

Ms. Muse's body was discovered by police, with cooperation from Ms. Bush, about four months later in a ravine on property belonging to Clark's landlady off Texas Highway 64, west of Tyler.

While looking for Ms. Muse, police found the body of federal drug defendant Tracy Mize floating in a septic tank on the same property.

Investigators surmised Clark fatally shot Mize because he knew about the murder of Ms. Muse and was in a position to make a deal in exchange for leniency in his drug case.

Witnesses in Clark's trial contended he killed a man in Houston in 1988 and raped a woman the same year, but Clark was not charged with those crimes.


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Crime and Breaking News Reporter

I started working at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in June 2016. I am a retired U.S. Air Force Sr. Master Sergeant. After a 21-year military career, in Security Forces, the military police of the Air Force, I went back to college and studied journalism.