Rockford man charged in 2008 murder of his lawyer - – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Rockford man charged in 2008 murder of his lawyer

Richard Wanke Richard Wanke
February 6, 2008 police investigate near snow blower where Clark was shot. February 6, 2008 police investigate near snow blower where Clark was shot.
February 6, 2008 February 6, 2008
February 6, 2008 February 6, 2008
Greg Clark Greg Clark

Six years after a Rockford attorney was gunned down in his driveway, one of his former clients has been charged with his murder. Richard Wanke went to jail right after Greg Clark's death on a burglary charge. Though he has always been a person of interest in Clark's murder, he has not been charged until now.

On February 6, 2008, while Clark was out snow-blowing his sidewalk, a van pulled up beside him. Someone jumped out and shot him several times in the back, in broad daylight, right in front of his home. The 60-year-old was a well-known attorney in the Rockford community.

"Each and every client that walked through the door he genuinely cared about their cause," said Patrick Braun when he was interviewed in 2008. He is a friend of Clark's and fellow attorney.

"It's shocking and just so tragic because Greg was so well-liked and so well-respected," said Judge Janet Holmgren when she was interviewed in 2008. She grew up across the street from Clark.

Six years ago, when Wanke was named a person of interest in the case, he was also a client of Clark's. He had been convicted of burglary. Wanke was scheduled to be sentenced the day after Clark's death. According to court documents, Clark asked to be taken off Wanke's case. But a judge said no. Wanke was later sentenced to 14 years on the burglary charge. He has been in prison ever since but is due for parole next month on May 7, 2014.

Now, Clark has been indicted by a grand jury and will be served with a murder warrant by the Rockford Police.

"This has been an ongoing investigation and the work that they have done has been excellent," says Joe Bruscato, Winnebago County State's Attorney.

"These types of investigations do not stop, they continually move forward and the type of resolution we are looking for is the resolution that we have today," says Deputy Chief Dave Hopkins, Rockford Police Department.

In 2008, Wanke gave an interview and said he was not involved in Clark's murder and was home shoveling during the storm. Wanke is expected to be arraigned on these charges next week.

Diane Chavez faced obstruction of justice charges in connection to Clark's murder case. She was convicted. But was granted a new trial. The state's attorney office say they plans to try her again.


To stay updated on news you can follow @RebeccaKlopf on twitter.



Over six years later, charges have been filed in the 2008 murder of Rockford attorney Gregory Clark.

Sixty-year-old Clark was gunned down outside his home while snow-blowing on February 6, 2008. Court records show he was scheduled to appear in court with client Richard Wanke that Friday. Records also showed Clark previously asked to be removed from Wanke's case, but was denied by a judge.

Wanke, 53, was named as a person of interest in the case, but not charged. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in August 2008 for an unrelated burglary charge.

However, on April 16, 2014, Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato announced Wanke had been charged by a grand jury in the murder of Clark.

WREX's Rebecca Klopf will have more on the story on 13 News at 5 & 6.

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