Williams charged for Clarke-Straub murders - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Williams charged for Clarke-Straub murders, Straub family calls for death sentence

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Lisa Straub and Johnny Clarke. Lisa Straub and Johnny Clarke.
The family of Johnny Clarke showed their support in court Friday. The family of Johnny Clarke showed their support in court Friday.
Lisa Straub's family held a press conference after the arraignment. Lisa Straub's family held a press conference after the arraignment.

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Sam Williams, 24, was arraigned by video Friday for the murders of Lisa Straub and Johnny Clarke.

Williams faces two counts of murder and two counts of aggravated burglary. His bond has been set at $5 million. He'll be back in court Monday with a public defender.

When the judge asked if he worked, Williams said he was a student and did not work. Williams has apparently been studying at Owens Community College.

The family of Johnny Clarke was present in the courtroom.

The arrest was made by around 6 p.m. Thursday for the gruesome Springfield Township murders that happened in January. Detectives said Thursday that more arrests may be coming.

Since the murders, authorities have maintained the murders were not a random act of violence and that Clarke and Straub were targeted. At the arraignment, Johnny Clarke's family said they have never heard of nor seen Williams.

"Nothing will bring him back. He's (Williams) here now but it still doesn't bring my Johnny and Lisa back. He's evil, he's evil, he's evil. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him," said Maytee Vasquez, Johnny Clarke's mother, after Friday's video arraignment.

The charges stem from the break-in of Lisa Straub's parents' home and murders of Lisa and her live-in boyfriend Johnny Clarke.  It was Johnny's father who busted open the door to the Longacre Road home Jan. 31 and found both Lisa and Johnny dead with their hands bound with duct tape and plastic bags over their heads.

Lisa Straub's family held a press conference Friday afternoon.  Family spokesperson James Verbosky said the family is relieved.  "We believe Lisa was an innocent person in this act," said Verbosky.

Verbosky said the family does not know Williams, and have not been told of a connection between the suspect and Lisa and Johnny.  Lisa's family does not believe it was a random act, and they feel other suspects may be involved.

"You don't strangle two people to death without one of those people jumping out of window, leaving the house, it takes more to take two people down," said Verbosky. "This was a brutal strangulation for both of them."

Lisa's family wants Williams to face the death penalty.  "To Julia Bates, the Lucas County Prosecutor, we make a personal plea to you, to ask that you impose the death penalty to the suspect that strangled johnny an Lisa to death. While they were gasping for their last breathes with his arms wrapped around their necks, they were not given the chance to make a plea deal to save their lives," said Verbosky.

We're told detectives first brought Williams into the jail for a domestic violence warrant out of Toledo.  In that case, he's accused of kicking in the door of his ex wife in March and threatening to beat her up.

Williams will appear in Sylvania Municipal Court Monday at 10 a.m. With his court-appointed attorney.

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