'I really wish I could take this back,' restaurant owner cleared of murder charges speaks
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WBFF) -- Not guilty. The owner of Fat Daddy's Crabs in Baltimore County, is a free man and speaking out.
He was just cleared of murder charges Thursday after the shooting death of his employee in August 2016.
Following a three day trial in Towson, Kresslin Vondez Clark is now acquitted of all charges after a judge ruled he acted in self-defense.
Thursday, Clark spoke exclusively with Fox45 about what happened last summer.
"Everyone made me feel like I was dehumanized for a minute right after this and no one knew what happened," Clark says.
His life is far from back to normal, but the crab shack owner is no longer a murder suspect.
"This was the worst time of my entire life," he says.
Clark was facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for the shooting death of his employee last August.
"I really wish I could go back and change that whole day and unfortunately I can't," he says.
This is the first time he's spoken publicly about what happened at his business, Fat Daddy's Crabs, in Randallstown on August 5, 2016.
"I knew my life was threatened," he says. "Even at that point, I still begged 'brother please, brother please.' Because no one wants to be put in that situation."
He says his employee, Daniel Lyles, 32, was drunk and threatening to kill him.
"This was something I could not control," Clark says.
Clark shot Lyles once in the torso after he claims the 32-year-old came towards him reaching into his waistband where police later found a folding knife.
"I never thought I would ever be put in that situation," he says.
Even though Clark has been legally cleared, he's still haunted by memories. He can't sleep at night and has lost 20 pounds.
The owner wants to reach out to Lyles' family, which is something he has not been able to do with the criminal trial and an on-going civil trial.
"I'm sorry for Danny's family that he's not here anymore," Clark says. "I wanted to reach out so bad. I wanted to reach out so bad and just say you know look I'm sorry. I really wish, I really wish I could take this back."