Westerfield prosecutor ‘Woody’ Clarke dies

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George “Woody” Clarke was a judge of the Superior Court for the County of San Diego. (Credit: County of San Diego)

SAN DIEGO — Superior Court Judge George “Woody” Clarke, who as a deputy district attorney helped prosecute O.J. Simpson and child-killer David Westerfield, died Tuesday at the age of 61.

Clarke was appointed to the San Diego Superior Court bench in October 2003 by then-Gov. Gray Davis.

Neither the cause of death nor funeral plans were announced Tuesday, but U-T San Diego reported that Clarke died after a short battle with cancer.

“Judge Clarke spent 21 years in the D.A.’s office where he made his mark as an exceptional prosecutor, respected colleague and friend to so many of us,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

“Beyond his many professional accomplishments, Woody stood out as a kind man who brought that genuine, caring spirit into every aspect of his life,” she said. “He was truly one of the good guys and he will be missed by a great many people in the District Attorney’s Office, the Superior Court and the legal community here in San Diego and across the nation.”

During his time with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Clarke — a former prosecutor of the year — became a nationally recognized expert on the use of DNA as a forensic tool.

His services were “loaned” to Los Angeles County for Simpson’s trial on double murder charges, of which the former football star was acquitted.

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