Former Aberdeen Police Chief Clark Gast was arrested on Aug. 4 on charges of domestic violence against his late wife in 2013.
According to documents from the Brown County Municipal Court, Gast has been charged with two counts of domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor, after an investigation by Brown County Sheriff’s Office investigator Forrest “Buddy” Coburn found two instances of domestic violence against two individuals. Gast was arrested by the Aberdeen Police Department and transported to the Brown County Adult Detention Center
Gast was arraigned on Aug. 5 and posted $5,000 bond, with an order to refrain from contact with the victims, according to court records.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the municipal court, Coburn found that there is “probable cause to believe that Clark Gast committed two acts of domestic violence on Aug. 11, 2013.”
The first count allegedly involved the late wife of Gast, Laura Fizer Gast. According to the affidavit, Gast’s alleged attack resulted in bruises and marks on Laura Gast’s head neck and arms. The affidavit said that during an argument between Gast and his wife, Gast allegedly grabbed Laura Gast by the throat and “slammed her against the wall.” The affidavit continues, alleging that Laura Gast was “gasping for breath” and her feet were off the ground.
Gast then allegedly said “I ought to just kill you” to Laura Gast. Once the attack ended and Laura Gast was safe, she had her daughter, who witnessed the scene, take photographs of Laura’s body, including the injuries she had suffered.
The second count alleges that also on Aug. 11, 2013, Gast allegedly began striking Laura Gast while she lay in bed. A family dog began to bite Gast and then Gast allegedly grabbed the dog and began choking it.
Laura Gast’s daughter, who is only identified in the affidavit by the initials K.P. and was 10 years old at the time, then allegedly tried to save the dog from Gast’s grasp, but Gast then allegedly grabbed K.P.’s hair and pulled her away, causing her to fear for her safety.
One day later, on Aug. 12, Gast allegedly made a 9-1-1 call to the Brown County Communications Center at 12:43 p.m. He allegedly stated that he came home from work and found his wife hanging from a ceiling fan.
A pre-trial has been set for Sept. 1, 2015.
Gast has retained Tyler Cantrell from Young and Caldwell in West Union as his attorney as of Aug. 10. Through Cantrell, Gast has requested a trial by jury.