Guilty Plea in Clarendon Murder

Well-liked victim slain in street in '09

Former Severn resident Roger K. Clark III pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Arlington County Court today.

Clark, 20, was charged with the murder of Carl Diener, 57, of Arlington.

Diener was found lying in the street in the 2200 block of North 13th Street in Clarendon shortly before 3 a.m. Dec. 29, 2009. He’d been beaten and stabbed as he walked to work at the Arlington Sport & Health Club.

Clark’s plea agreement calls for a sentence of no more than 25 years with no limit to how much time the judge can suspend, according to Arlington County’s Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Diener was one of only two people murdered in Arlington in 2009 -- the county did not log a single murder in 2011 -- and violent crime is unusual in the Clarendon area, so Diener’s death hit the community especially hard.

Friends told the Washington Post after the murder that Diener was a retired federal employee who regularly walked to his job at the gym, where he was well-liked. 

"You'd walk up and see a group of guys huddled around Carl, listening to him telling jokes," David Bain, a friend and neighbor who played racquetball with Diener at Sport & Health, told the Post. "He was the social nexus of the club."

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