Sanctuary sacrilege – man caught on camera punching elderly woman in church is sentenced

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OMAHA, Nebraska - Surveillance cameras were rolling inside St. Cecilia Cathedral when a young man named Wayman Clark was about to commit a crime that would change the rest of his life.

He and a friend followed a 76-year-old woman inside, where his friend grabbed her purse, then Clark punched her in the head, causing the elderly woman to fall head first into a table, leaving a large gash on her head.

The video led police to their suspects, and Clark has been behind bars ever since that day in August of 2015.

Clark's demeanor changed dramatically from the time of his arrest to his sentencing Wednesday, where he apologized and was seen praying.

According to WOWT, Clark stated, "I made a mistake. I panicked at the time. I'm not that type of person. I'm mad at myself. I'm sorry."


Clark was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Mike Poepsel, Clark's attorney, says his client had a rough childhood with no parental structure. "I don't think he had a strong foothold on growing up," Poepsel told WOWT.

And now it seems Clark wants to be a good father to his children.

"I just want to be there for my family," Clark said. "I'm worried about my family if I'm not around."

During his 147 days behind bars, one of his sons passed away.

Clark has been given credit for time served and could be paroled in less than five years.

His accomplice, Larry Leggett, is awaiting trial on a robbery charge.