A man who was sentenced to death for strangling a 14- year-old Fresno girl pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering a 15-year-old girl in Long Beach more than two decades ago.
Royal Clark Jr., 50, is expected to be sentenced April 26 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Oct. 30, 1989, slaying of Danielle Marie Haddon.
Clark pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and admitted that he used an electric cord to strangle the Wilson High School sophomore, along with admitting the special circumstance allegation of a prior murder conviction, according to Deputy District Attorney Carol Rose.
Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty in exchange for his guilty plea.
Clark was linked to the crime through a DNA hit confirmed in September by investigators. Biological evidence that had been collected and saved was submitted for testing after the girl's mother, who still lived in the Long Beach area, contacted investigators to see if her daughter's killing was eligible to be re-investigated under a grant the Long Beach Police Department
received in 2008 from the National Institute of Justice to try to help solve cold cases.
There were no known connections between the victim and Clark, and he had not been a suspect in her death before the DNA hit, police said.
The teen was alone in the apartment she shared with her grandmother in the 1000 block of Coronado Avenue and was talking on the phone with a friend when she said she had to answer a knock at the door, according to the prosecutor.
Her body was found fully clothed and lying on a bed inside the apartment early the next morning after her grandmother returned home from work.
Detectives confirmed that Clark was living in the Long Beach area at the time the girl was killed, and that he moved to the Fresno area a short time later.
He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for the first-degree murder and attempted rape of Billie-Jo Laurie Farkas, a Fresno-area girl who was found dead on a rural road in Madera County with a rope around her neck and her blouse pulled up after being attacked in a restroom in a recreation area in January 1991.
He also was convicted of the attempted murder, false imprisonment and kidnapping of the 14-year-old's best friend, a 15-year-old girl who survived being choked unconscious.
Last August, the California Supreme Court upheld Clark's conviction and death sentence for the Farkas killing.