“Bad News”

Wed. morning about 10:45 am, there was a knock on the door. At the door, was a 5 year old child. She told the 10 year old boy who answered the door, “My mommy’s dead. My brother’s dead.” He helped her call 911. She told police of hiding in a closet, as her family was being killed. And she identified Sandy Smith as the person who had been in the home overnight, and the person who had argued with her mother.

Police who responded to the scene found Tina Clark, 32, in the living room. They found 13 year old Derick Lackey in a bedroom. Both appeared to have died from blunt force trauma. Missing from the home was Clark’s vehicle. A 16 year old son was away from the home at the time of the murders, which were thought to have happened late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday morning.

Relatives, friends and aquaintances have told how they had pleaded with Tina Clark to leave her boyfriend Sandy D. Smith, 44, who was suspected in the slaying. They tried to tell her he was trouble. But they never suspected this. The 16 year old son had begun staying at his father’s home to avoid Smith, and said he was “bad news”.

Smith has a criminal history for delivering a controlled substance, forgery, violating terms of deferred adjudication and burglaries. Records also show that he was charged with, but never convicted of sexual assault of a child in 1997, delivering cocaine and heroin in 1989, and forgery in 1992. It is not known why he was never tried for those crimes.

Police began searching for Clark’s car. They believe that Smith took the car to a local business where both he and Clark had worked. There he took some business checks from his former employer, and took them to a local grocery where he cashed them for $525.

Later that day, police sighted the vehicle. As they began to close in, Smith threw a notebook out of a window and set the vehicle on fire. Smith is believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was identified by dental records.

Police say that Smith recently failed drug urinalysis tests and that a warrant had been issued for a parole violation. In the notebook, police say were statements that led them to believe that when Smith set the car on fire, he was committing suicide. And that in those statements he mentioned the “dirty” UA’s and who he blamed for getting him started back on drugs. Toxicology tests are being performed to see if Smith was using drugs at the time of his suicide.




My heart is breaking for those kids. The 16 year old is blaming himself for not being there to protect his mother and brother. Like most of that age, he believes that he could have stopped what happened. However, reality is that if he had been present, likely he would have been killed also. He doesn’t realize that his decision to leave the home and stay with his father, was the most intelligent thing he could have done.

The five year old. Hiding in a closet, hearing the noises, hearing the loud voices, then the silence. She must have been so scared. How long did she remain in that closet, afraid to come out, for fear of her own life? Then when she did come out, she is faced with the horror of finding her mother and brother. Yet such a smart and brave little girl. She recognized what to do, she got herself to the neighbors, and she told police what happened to her family and who was responsible.

Others tried to warn Tina Clark, even though they could not forsee something this bad. But she didn’t listen. I have not found anything that says that there were problems of domestic violence in the home prior to the murders. But certain comments do make me wonder. Had she known how the relationship would end, what would happen to her children- that may have made her listen. But just like the others, she could not forsee what would happen.

Some comments were made about Derick Lackey’s behavior. How he tended to get into trouble. Again I would like to refer to the effects of domestic violence on older kids.

 the pre-adolescent child typically has greater ability to externalize negative emotions (i.e., to verbalize). In addition to symptoms commonly seen with childhood anxiety (e.g., sleep problems, eating disturbance, nightmares), victims within this age group may show a loss of interest in social activities, low self-concept, withdrawal or avoidance of peer relations, rebelliousness and oppositional-defiant behavior in the school setting. It is also common to observe temper tantrums, irritability, frequent fighting at school or between siblings, lashing out at objects, treating pets cruelly or abusively, threatening of peers or siblings with violence (e.g., “give me a pen or I will smack you”), and attempts to gain attention through hitting, kicking, or choking peers and/or family members.


I have no way of knowing if domestic violence was a problem in this home, but like I said- certain aspects lead me to wonder.


The 911 tape has been released, but the media article I have read is choosing not to publish, out of respect for the child’s age. More detail is being released however.

Apparently the little girl told dispatchers that Sandy Smith tied her up and put her in the closet, before beating her mother and brother to death.




  1. Darling said,

    July 10, 2006 at 3:13 am

    Derick was one of my best boyfriend. He is sweet, funny and energetic. He always made me laugh he was the only person that made me feel confident. He did’t deserved to die but since he has a very good heart he will die for anyone. I still love him and always will.

  2. July 10, 2006 at 3:41 am

    Darling, I am so sorry for what has happened. It is always hard to lose any friend that way, but esp. one that you felt so close to. Yes, you will probably always have a special place in your heart for him. Remember the fun you had together, remember the way he made you feel. Others may come along, and in some ways they will remind you of Derick. And someday you will find another who makes you feel that way too.

  3. ray lackey (dericks bro) said,

    July 22, 2006 at 6:38 am

    derick was so good to me and i regret being so rude to him i feel so bad and i love him so much i get bumbs tinking about him mom too

  4. ray lackey (dericks bro) said,

    July 22, 2006 at 6:40 am

    WHY ? why did they have to go this way

    derick was protecting his mama 100% sure

  5. July 22, 2006 at 11:32 am

    Ray, that is the question we all want to know after someone young has died. And it is the question that no one can answer, though I really wish I could.
    I felt from the first time that I read about this and saw Derick’s age, that likely he tried to step in and help your mother. But what they were dealing with was something they hadn’t anticipated. Someone that full of rage can be overwhelming.
    As far as your little brother and your relationship……..hon, it is very often like that with big and little brothers (or sisters). Let’s face it, little brothers can be a pain….doesn’t mean you don’t love them, just that they are in a different stage of life than you are. I would bet that Derick looked up to you sometimes. And tried to be like you sometimes. When things get tough, remember that. And remember that you all loved each other. And it is going to be important that you do remember the good times with your Mom and Derick. Because you are still a big brother. And in years to come, it might be hard for your sister to remember those times. You can help her with that.
    I have read that you wished you were there to help your Mom and brother. I am glad you were not, because I am afraid that if you had been, we would have been grieving for one more. And the loss has already been too great.
    Ray, I know that a lot of times right now it is really really hard. But with time, it gets easier to live with. Not easier necessarily, just easier to live with. And you will get through this. And you will finish growing up to be a man your mother would be proud of. And you will have a little sister who will be a pain sometimes. But you will still love her.
    I have a question for you. Would your mother want you to take care of yourself (along with your father’s help)? Of course she would. And that is what you need to do. What would be important to your mother, is that you are ok. I am a mother too, and I know to me, the most important thing for me is that my kids are ok. I am sure that your mother likely felt the same way. Your mother would be glad that you and your sister survived. And Derick and your mother are together. They will take care of each other.

  6. darling brisneo said,

    November 20, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    i still think about derick everytime and everyday.he will always be in my heart

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