Indiana teenager Austin Thaddeus Clark was charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of burglary, after robbing the same house multiple times and attempting to kill its occupant.
The 17-year-old entered Bruce Swope’s home around 2:30 a.m. on June 21 through an unlocked sliding glass door. After snatching a pack of cigarettes and leaving, Clark later returned for alcohol.
After the first two entries, Clark snuck into the house a third time. Instead of looking for something to steal, he decided to kill.
Clark stabbed Swope twice in the head with a screwdriver before Swope awoke and engaged in a struggle with the teen. Swope managed to subdue Clark, but when he went to search the house for other intruders, Clark found a shotgun and shot Swope in the face.
Swope, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, managed to call police as Clark escaped the home.
While searching for missing items and evidence, investigators found an iPod that belonged to Clark. By using the serial number within the iPod and obtaining a warrant to receive confirmation of the owner’s identity, police were able to determine Clark as the culprit.
Clark later arrived at the police station on his own free will, with encouragement from his guardian, and at first denied breaking into Swope’s home. However, he eventually admitted to breaking in and stealing several items before returning to kill the home owner.
According to the police report, Clark admitted to having homicidal thoughts in the past. Clark added that had he not gotten “what he wanted” from Swope’s home, he would have broken into another pre-selected home.
Clark’s bond is currently set at $1 million.