CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four days after Nalisha Fiona Gravely was killed inside a Taco Bell on Charleston's West Side, people continued to ask how she ended up dead, the apparent victim of Desmond Clark, a man with an extensive criminal record but few convictions.
Gravely's cousin Charles Williams stood outside an Advance Auto Parts store on Charleston's West Side on Tuesday. Friends and family gathered there for a car wash and fish fry, raising more than $800 for Gravely's family.
"They kept letting him out. If he would have been in jail, this wouldn't have happened," Williams said. "He kept walking. This should have stopped a long time ago."
Clark is accused of killing Gravely, the mother of his 2-year-old son. He allegedly shot her while they were in a car together after he abducted her from a North Charleston house around 2 p.m. Saturday.
Gravely ran inside the Taco Bell on Patrick Street, where she asked to use a phone, and then jumped across the counter to hide in a closet. Police say Clark followed across the counter, found Gravely in the closet and shot her six times.
Clark, 22, was not supposed to have a gun for many reasons. He was a convicted felon after a plea to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He had also pleaded guilty to domestic battery, which also barred him from having a firearm.
He was charged at least 17 times in four years for often-violent offenses tied to domestic battery, drugs, wanton endangerment, burglary and weapons.
In March 2007, Clark cut his electronic bracelet while he was on home confinement. He remained at large until he was arrested on July 3, court records indicate.
Three days later, a corrections officer at South Central Regional Jail charged Clark with battery, alleging that Clark tried to slam him to the floor by picking him up off the ground after refusing to return to his section.
He later posted bond and was returned to home confinement. By the time he was placed on probation in March 2008, his bond had been modified at his attorney's request to let him off of home confinement.
According to a search warrant filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court on Tuesday, Clark had several bullets and a key to a Mazda Protege in his pockets when he was arrested on July 6. Police later found a Smith & Wesson Model 4046 pistol in a white Mazda Protege parked near where Clark was arrested.
Sources inside the law enforcement and legal system and close to the Gravely family said Tuesday that Clark was a confidential informant for police, but Charleston police said that he didn't work for them.
Sgt. S.A. Cooper, chief detective for Charleston police said Clark was not a confidential informant, or CI, for the department's criminal investigation division.
"I can't imagine he received any special treatment as a CI based on the types of crimes he is charged with," Cooper said. "He has never been a CI here, and I've never heard of him being a CI."
Cooper said he wouldn't know if other officers were using Clark as a CI. Lists of confidential informants aren't shared among agencies unless someone asks, he said.