Last July, 21-year-old Brandon Clark was arrested and charged with the murder of 17-year-old Bianca Devins, a recent high school graduate from Utica, New York. Clark was accused of murdering Devins on the way home from a concert in New York City. He had posted a photo of her body on the gaming chat platform Discord, with a message taunting Devins’ male followers on social media.
Initially, Clark pleaded not guilty to Devins’ murder, and was expected to stand trial on second-degree murder charges in just a few weeks. On February 10th, however, Clark changed his plea from not guilty to guilty, thus sparing the Devins family a trial. He could face 25 years to life in prison.
Clark entered his guilty plea today during a court appearance. He apologized directly to members of the Devins family, who had showed up at his court appearances wearing pink T-shirts, a nod to Bianca’s favorite color.
“I think I need to realize what I did I can’t undo, as much as I want to,” Clark said in court. “I need to face it. I apologize to all the people that knew and loved her. I apologize to everybody affected by this, to everybody who had to see that horrific picture of her. I know sorry is not enough and it won’t take back what I did. I wish I had more to give.”
Clark’s mother, Michelle Kuwaliski Clark, tells Rolling Stone via Facebook message that the family had expected him to change his plea for some time. “He did not want us there but we knew he was going to plead,” she says.
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Clark was accused of murdering Devins on the way home from a Nicole Dollanganger concert, which he had attended with her in Queens, New York. Police believed that Clark had been incensed by seeing Bianca kiss another boy at the concert. Police believed that he had been planning her murder for some time, though, as they recovered knives, rope, and multiple other tools at the scene of his arrest, as well as a letter appearing to be a suicide note at a relative’s home.
According to previous reporting by Rolling Stone, Clark and Devins had met online and were friends in real life for some time before her murder, with Bianca’s mother Kim saying she had found him charming and polite. On the morning of her death, a man appearing to be Clark posted a photo of Devins’ dead body on Discord along with the caption, “Sorry fuckers, you’re going to have find someone else to orbit,” prompting confusion and horror among her friends. When Clark was apprehended by police, he was lying on top of Devins’ body and livestreaming his attempted suicide. He survived his injuries and was charged with second-degree murder.
Last December, Clark was charged with first-degree promoting prison contraband after a toothbrush that had been fashioned into a shank was found in his cell. He was scheduled to appear in court on this charge, Kuwaliski Clark says. “I think he did the right thing,” Kuwaliski Clark tells Rolling Stone.
Clark’s photo of Devins’ body later went viral on many social media platforms, including Instagram. In the wake of Bianca’s death, Bianca’s mother Kim has lobbied for social media platforms to amend their policies in order to curb the spread of such photos.
“[We’re] relieved,” Devins said in a text mesage to Rolling Stone. “I’m glad we don’t have to go through the trial.”
Clark will face sentencing in April.