VICTORY — A Victory Mills teen is being held without bail after he was charged with second-degree murder early Saturday in the fatal stabbing of his mother’s boyfriend.
Matthew J. Brown, 18, was arrested in connection with the killing of Derick K. Clark, 32, in the Gates Avenue home Clark and Brown shared with Brown’s mother, Heather C. Brown, 34.
Police said Matthew Brown called 911 at 11:35 p.m. to report a domestic dispute late Friday between his mother and Clark at their duplex home at 66-A Gates Ave., according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. After the call, a dispute erupted between Matthew Brown and Clark that ended with the teen stabbing Clark in the neck with a knife, authorities said. General Schuyler Emergency Medical Services responded but personnel were unable to save Clark, and he was pronounced dead at the scene by Saratoga County Coroner Daniel Kuhn.
Sheriff Michael Zurlo declined to discuss further details because the department is still investigating the incident.
“We’ll be working on various leads throughout the weekend,” Zurlo said.
Matthew Brown was arraigned in Stillwater Town Court and sent to Saratoga County Jail without bail.
No one else was listed as being charged or injured. State Police are assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation and were working at the scene into late Saturday afternoon.
Neighbors said the family recently moved into the duplex. The three-bedroom adjacent residence at 66-B Gates Ave. is vacant. A person reached at the number listed for renting the home declined to comment Saturday.
Neighbors on Gates Avenue, heartbroken, said they were shocked.
One man said he knew Clark since the two were teenagers, growing up in the area, and described him as “a nice guy, mellow, calm.” He said Clark had a son from a previous relationship, who did not live at the residence. He said Clark was interested in vehicles, worked at an auto parts store in Greenwich and was most recently working at Drumm’s Turf Services in Schuylerville.
“It’s surreal. Somebody I knew for 14 years was murdered 20 feet away from me and I didn’t even know until the cops showed up. It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the man, who asked not to be named.
Neighbor Tiffany Truelove and her friend, Avery Allman, both 16, said Matthew Brown was quiet. Truelove said he attended Schuylerville High School and rode the bus with her, but she didn’t know him.
“He seemed shy, didn’t really talk to anybody. He didn’t seem like the type,” Truelove said, who was surprised by the arrest.
Another neighbor, Kristin Thrane, estimated they’d lived there a few months and said she met the family when she found and returned their cat when it was missing. She said Clark referred to Heather Brown as his fiancee when he came to retrieve the cat.
She said she spoke to the couple multiple times since then, “just small chit chat, but they were always smiling.”
Neighbors described the row of houses along Fish Creek as quiet.
“For the most part everybody that lives in these houses, most of us, have lived here our entire lives. I’ve known all these people for years. That’s the only house that has new people in it. There were other people who lived on the other side and they were there for like a month,” Thrane said.
Neighbors said they didn’t hear anything before the sirens.
“I didn’t hear anything. I had actually come out and I was getting stuff out of my car when the fire whistle went off,” Thrane said.
She saw an ambulance and first responder, went back inside, and the next time she checked “the whole place was just flooded with cops and investigators.”
Cindy Perkins lives across the street and said she didn’t know what happened until about 10 a.m. when authorities knocked on her door.
“Last night I just thought it was a regular rescue call,” Perkins said. “I’ve only been here a month but I grew up in town. ... It’s a friendly neighborhood.”