Cabarrus County family continues fight to keep killer behind bars

Roger Warren Clark serving two life sentences for murder of Phoebe Barbee

Cabarrus County family continues fight to keep killer behind bars
Phoebe Barbee was 19 when she was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Cabarrus County in 1978. (Source: Submitted photo)

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The family of murdered Concord teen Phoebe Barbee is continuing its fight to keep her killer from being released from prison.

On March 12th, Roger Warren Clark, 64, will go before the NC Parole Board to request early release from two life sentences he received for the 1978 kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of Phoebe Alisa Barbee.

“What Roger Warren Clark set out to do on the morning of September 11, 1978 was to rape and murder,” said Sonja Barbee, Phoebe’s sister. “He had four failed attempts before abducting our sister. He trapped her in his truck which had doors that would not open from the inside. Unable to escape, he drove her to an abandoned farm where he violently raped her then beat her to death with a tire iron. He left her broken body in the dirt of that old farm then drove home to attend a meeting with social worker on a family domestic issue. He even made time to enjoy the county fair before his arrest. Those are the deliberate actions of an evil, remorseless, violent man who will likely strike again if given ever given the chance.”

The family is concerned this year due to an agreement reached between the state and the NAACP that would grant early release to 3500 people who are currently in prison. The case was filed in 2020 over prison conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are very concerned this year with all the COVID related acceleration in early release of NC prisoners that Roger Warren Clark has a legitimate shot of early parole. Every letter from the public in opposition will have an impact,” Barbee wrote.

According to a news release, “DPS in coordination with the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission will transition 3,500 offenders out of our facilities by utilizing a combination of 1) awarding discretionary sentence credits in order to move individuals to their mandatory minimum sentence sooner; 2) transferring select individuals to serve their remaining sentence time under the supervision of community corrections officers through Extended Limits of Confinement (ELC); and 3) reinstating or restoring individuals to post-release supervision or granting early release to those participating in the Mutual Agreement Parole Program.”

The news release does say that “DPS has been transitioning a select group of people who have non-violent crimes through the Extended Limits of Confinement (ELC) initiative to complete their sentence in the community in order to reduce the prison population.”

Members of the family of Phoebe Barbee have fought to years to keep Clark in prison, often engaging the community to write letters to the state.

“Please consider joining our efforts to keep Roger Warren Clark behind the bars that he earned when he brutally ended the life of Phoebe Alisa Barbee,” Sonja Barbee wrote. “She was a kind, beautiful spirit and she deserves justice. Moreover, the people of our community and NC also deserve to remain safe from this predatory killer.”

The Barbee family asks anyone interested to write to the NC Parole Commission and case worker Karen Gregory. Correspondence should include the following identification in the header:

Roger Warren Clark, Offender #0077814, Docket #78012043, County of Conviction: Cabarrus

Also request a copy of your letter be permanently placed in Inmate Clark’s field jacket.

Mailing Address: NC Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission,

Attn: Commissioner Fowler, Chairman

2020 Yonkers Road

4222 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-4222

Caseworker Karen Gregory

Email: karen.gregory@ncdps.gov

Clark was convicted in Cabarrus County on April 6, 1979. He began serving two life sentences on that day. Clark has 11 infractions listed on his prison record, including a sexual act on March, 2019.

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