Newberry — Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Prosperity man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of the 2017 killing of his estranged girlfriend.
Clifton Boozer, 40, was found guilty of murder Friday afternoon by a Newberry County jury following a week-long trial at the Newberry County Courthouse. Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. handed down a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
During the early morning hours of May 3, 2017, Boozer had a cab drop him off at the Prosperity home of his estranged girlfriend, 35-year-old Clatie Stribble. Boozer laid in wait until Stribble’s three children left for school then forced himself into the residence. Once inside the home, Boozer assaulted Stribble, stabbing her in the neck before strangling her to death.
Boozer called 911 and reported the incident. He later gave a statement to law enforcement, but claimed during trial that he acted in self-defense. The jury disagreed and found Boozer guilty of murder.
Boozer and Stribble had sustained an on again, off again relationship for six years before Boozer committed the murder. He had two prior convictions for criminal domestic violence, with Stribble being the victim on one of the convictions. Stribble also had an order of protection against Boozer, though she continued to see Boozer periodically.
Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel handled the case for the state, with assistance from Eighth Circuit Investigator Walter Bentley and Eighth Circuit Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Boozer was represented by Newberry County Public Defender Charles Verner.
Stumbo praised the work of his staff and particularly of Lt. Harry Bodiford of the Prosperity Police Department, who was both the first responding officer to the scene and the lead investigator on the case.
“Men like Clifton Boozer have absolutely no place in our community,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “Instead of loving Clatie and protecting her, he senselessly took a caring woman and devoted mother from her family forever. I hope this sends a message to domestic abusers, who derive pleasure from controlling and terrifying their partners, that we will relentlessly prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”