Gunman pleads guilty to firing shot that killed a child through hotel room wall
Posted June 27
Raleigh, N.C. — Randall Louis Vater of Knightdale pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy. Nathan Andrew Clark, of Lewisville, was asleep in a Raleigh hotel room when a shot fired by Vater penetrated the wall and killed him.
Nathan Andrew Clark, of Lewisville, was asleep in a Raleigh hotel room in November 2014 when Vater fired a shot that penetrated a wall and killed him.
The incident came less than a month after Vater was released from Wake County jail, where he served seven months for violating a domestic violence protective order.
Judge Reuben Young agreed to drop a firearms charge in exchange for Vater's plea and sentenced him to 138 to 178 months (approximately 11 to 15 years) in prison.
Young found and Vater agreed that, with a criminal record including 28 convictions over several decades, he is a habitual felon. Vater's record includes hit-and-run, communicating threats, assault on a female, breaking and entering and multiple protective orders.
Nathan's mother, Valerie Clark, spoke to Vater in court and said she struggles every day.
"There have been countless days I haven’t been able to leave my house without having an anxiety attack and crying continuously," she said. "I’m a broken,lonely, anxious confused woman but God has never left my side."
Nathan was an eighth-grader at Calvary Baptist Day School in Winston-Salem and played varsity soccer for the school. His family was in Raleigh for a soccer tournament at the time of his death.
"I miss his daily hugs, I miss his caring heart," Valerie Clark said.
Police said a shot fired in an adjacent room at the Comfort Suites hotel on Corporation Parkway went through a wall and hit Nathan in the head.