The Kentucky State Police are investigating the incident as an accident, rather than an excessive use of force, according to KSP Public Relations Officer Trooper Barry Meadows. The KSP’s official statement said that Clark arrived at the isolated house in response to a domestic disturbance call placed to Trigg County 911 Dispatch.
The report says that once Clark arrived on the scene, Sowell, who was armed with two large knives and a length of pipe, confronted Clark. Clark attempted to retreat, but Sowell “walked into his path of travel and was struck.”
Trigg County Coroner John Vinson ruled the death to be an accident, listing the cause of death as a ruptured aorta. The aorta is the primary artery leaving the heart and has the diameter of a man’s thumb. Vinson believed that Sowell was killed instantly.
One witness to the event was Eugene Sowell, the victim’s father. “Mike got out of an Alcoholics’ Anonymous meeting the night before and made his mother take him to Gracie to get beer. He and his ex-wife had a fight about something,” Sowell said of the events leading to Clark’s calling. “He woke my wife up because he was upset that his VCR was not working, and was fussing about that. They pushed each other some, and I told him to go to bed or I’d call 911. He calmed down and I hung up. 911 called back and we said things were ok, and to forget it. Well Randy got here and my son was on the porch. He had a pipe- it was an arm-bar that I used as a cheater-bar on a jack I had a few years ago-, and a couple of knives. Randy didn’t get out of his car, and said ‘drop it’ or ‘stop,’ maybe twice, and then it looks like he backed up. He then floor-boarded it and took off. You can see some of the ruts still in the driveway. Then he ran over mike and didn’t stop until he was over by the shed and came back. He got out and said ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was trying to get away from him.”
“A family’s son has been killed, and I regret it. I did not intend for this to happen,” - randy clark
Sowell claimed that Clark shouted the warning and offered Mike Sowell no time to respond. He maintains his son was standing still in the driveway where he was struck. He added that it was his belief that Clark had a number of other avenues to escape, including through the front yard, down the side of the house, or in reverse through a tobacco patch.
Sowell said his son was troubled, describing him as receiving a disability pension for reasons of mental health. He claimed that his son used illicit drugs “years ago,” and was currently under the supervision of several doctors who were prescribing medications. Sowell said that he was uncertain of any diagnosis given to his son, and could not name the medications he was being treated with.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.