NewsLocal NewsKzoo/BCCalhoun


Details unveiled in murder of Battle Creek woman living in retirement community

Angela Kay Clear
Posted at 7:23 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 19:47:19-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — New details on the homicide case out of a Battle Creek retirement community from March.

The man accused of killing a woman inside her home, appeared in court on Friday.

Court documents revealed Angela Clear died of 13 sharp force injuries focusing on the neck area.

The suspect, Jerry Harston is facing an open murder charge for her death.

"I remember him saying ‘You know your mom is fine with me.’ I remember kissing her on her forehead and her wheeling away," said Ashley Gaw, the daughter of Angela Clear.

That is the last memory Ashley Gaw has of being with her mother before leaving her with Jerry Harston or "Pacer" as she calls him.

"When Pacer came around, I felt a relief. I trusted him with my mom. I knew that she was in good hands," said Gaw.

Gaw testified that Harston had been staying with her mom for about a week.

Just three days after she last saw them, she contacted police to do a welfare check saying she had not heard from her when they normally talk multiple times each day.

Battle Creek Police Officer Hunter Barnett testified that he responded to the welfare check on March 26 and went inside Clear's apartment.

"Both the bedroom and bathroom door were closed. I walked up to it and noticed a bungee court that was wrapped around the bedroom door which was attached to the bathroom door. Both of them were shut. The bungee cord appeared to be under tension," said Battle Creek Police Department Officer Hunter Barnett.

Inside the bedroom, he found Clear's body lying in bed covered with a blanket.

"She had approximately two-inch puncture wound in the left side of her neck and it also appeared that her throat had been cut," said Officer Barnett.

"On the sheets themselves there were blood stains that appeared to be consistent with a drag mark, approximately six to eight inches. There was also what looked like a bloody hand print on the bed. It would have been above Ms. Clear’s head on her right side," said Battle Creek Police Department Detective Brandon Huggett.

Detective Huggett said by her position in the bed, he believed she had also been sexually assaulted.

The detective said Harston turned himself in in Mecosta County, contacting dispatch and told them he was wanted for murder out of Battle Creek.

"I noticed what appeared to be blood on his hands. He was wearing jail clothes. He did look that he had been out in the elements for a while. He looked cold and was huddled up in a blanket," said Detective Huggett.

Clear's vehicle found in Newaygo County a few days later.

"No immediate damage was noticed. The license plate was removed from the vehicle and thrown into a ditch probably 50 yards away from where the vehicle was so that was suspicious," said Detective Huggett.

The case was bound over to circuit court for trial. A date has not yet been set.