MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The trial has begun for a Baldwin County man accused of killing his mother back in 2017.
Clarke Raines is accused of strangling his mother, Kay Raines, and burying her body in the woods of Baldwin County. Kay Raines went missing in early 2017. Friends organized a search for her after she wasn’t seen after a trip to Biloxi.
Kay Raines’ body was discovered weeks later in a shallow grave between Spanish Fort and Stockton.
From the moment she went missing, people close Kay believe her son had something to do with her death. They described him as a young man who could switch from being a petulant child to mean and violent at any moment.
During their opening statement, prosecutors claimed Clarke Raines strangled his mother because he was angry that she had spent all of her inheritance money. In 2006, Kay Raines received $500,000 through a life insurance payout after her husband died. Years later, she made $2.3 million after selling their home in Destin, Florida.
The state described Clarke Raines as an entitled son whose parents paid all his bills, including several trips to rehab, insurance, and other expenses. Prosecutor Ashley Rich argued Clarke Raines felt he was entitled to Kay Raines’s inheritance.
Prosecutors made the case that Kay Raines chose to enjoy her inheritance and became a big spender at regional casinos, eventually spending all the inheritance money. They claim this angered her son and that when she returned from her job at a Home Depot in Mississippi on Jan. 29, 2017, that’s when he strangled his mother. Then, for the next several days, he allegedly tried to get money through MoneyGram fraud, a bad check, and using his mother’s credit cards.
A month after Kay Raines went missing Mobile police placed a GPS tracker on Clarke’s car, and eventually saw him make an unusual trip to a wooded area in Baldwin County where they found her body. If he didn’t make an extra trip to the body, the state says they may never have found her.
Responding to the prosecution, Clarke Raines’ attorneys argued that the state can’t prove he killed his mother, can’t prove where she died, and that he needed his mother alive. They also sked the jury not to assume someone is a bad person just because they’re a drug addict.
Clarke Raines has an arrest record stretching back more than a decade with arrests in Walton County, Florida and Okaloosa County for crimes like burglary, domestic violence, and trying to fraudulently obtain a controlled substance. Before his mother’s death, Raines was also arrested in Mobile for allegedly breaking the windows of a neighbor’s home.
The trial is expected to last the entire week or longer.