Weymouth murder suspect pleads not guilty in court

Weymouth murder suspect pleads not guilty in court

DEDHAM, Mass. — After being on the run for two years and two months, the man suspected of killing a young Weymouth mother, says he didn't do it. Cornel Bell, 48, pleaded not guilty to murder charges in Norfolk Superior Court on Friday.

Heartbroken members of Michelle Clarke's family tell Boston 25 News that they've been living in fear knowing Bell was on the run so long. Bell and Clarke were dating when, authorities say, he murdered her inside her Lake Street home in August of 2017. Clarke was 33.

Police were called by family to do a well-being check on August 19, 2017 and discovered Clarke's body in an upstairs room. Prosecutors say, Bell was found in Florida last month, where he's been living under several aliases.

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"They entered the home to do a well-being check and saw blood on the floor," recounted Carolyn Hely, the Assistant District Attorney for Norfolk County. "They went upstairs and found the body of Ms. Clarke on the floor; she was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She appeared to have multiple stab wounds."

Clarke's son is now 8 years old; his father, Andlee Cribb, told Boston 25 News that their son asks for mom often times before bedtime. He added that he was on the phone with Clarke moments before she was killed, saying that he heard a Jamaican accent in the background and Clarke saying, "get off me."

"I just wish I was there," Cribb said. "If [I] was there that wouldn't have happened."

In court, prosecutors said Bell showed up at Clarke's bartending job and threw a fit after she was seen talking to another man. Clarke had been going to school to become a nurse at the time of her death.

"I tell him all the time, 'do you think your mom would want you to be sad? Or happy?'" Cribb said of his son. "She wants me to be happy and that brings up his spirit."

Bell is being held without bail. His next court date is scheduled for December.