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Man Sentenced to Death in Fire Death of Therapist’s Husband

February 3, 1985

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ A man convicted of setting a blaze that killed the husband of his former psychotherapist has been sentenced to die in the gas chamber.

William John Clark, sentenced Friday, had been convicted of murder in the death of David Gawronski, who died of injuries suffered in the January 1982 fire. Clark also was convicted of the attempted murder of Ava Gawronski, his former therapist, and her small daughter.

Prosecutors said the fire in the Gawronski’s home was an attempt to kill Mrs. Gawronski, who had terminated Clark’s treatment after he tried to rape her. After the treatment was cut off, Clark tried to run her car off the road with his automobile, and attacked her car with an ice axe, prosecutors said.

Mrs. Gawronski managed to escape the fire, and her daughter was saved by a neighbor, but her husband suffered burns over 90 percent of his body and died several days later.

A jury returned a death penalty verdict against Clark on Dec. 18, and Mock Clark was formally sentenced Friday by Superior Court Judge Harry Mock Jr., said Deputy District Attorney John Reid.

Clark was convicted last May of murdering Gawronski, attempted murder of Mrs. Gawronski and the child, arson and one count of attempting to rape his estranged wife in 1981.

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