CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man serving time for murdering his girlfriend in Charleston in 2008 will appear for a hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court this week.

The West Virginia Supreme Court says Desmond Clark, 37, is getting a hearing, that was initially denied by a judge, in order for him to pursue an appeal. Clark is serving life in prison with no chance at parole after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Clark shot and killed his girlfriend, Na’lisha Gravely, 19, at a Taco Bell in Charleston 16 years ago. Gravely had a protective order against Clark, who chased her down and shot her six times at the restaurant on the city’s West Side.

The late Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge James Stucky sentenced Clark to life in prison without mercy in 2009. Since then, Clark has filed three petitions for habeas corpus relief, but they have all been unsuccessful. Habeas corpus involves a person under arrest coming before a court to determine if there is an unlawful detention or imprisonment. Although according to the state Supreme Court, Clark has not filed a direct appeal on the conviction of first-degree murder.

Clark filed a motion in April 2020 seeking to be resentenced in order to pursue the appeal. He also requested an appellate attorney be appointed to him. Clark made these motions without the help of an attorney.

During that time, Clark was represented by Theresa Chisolm and Rob Catlett, public defenders appointed by the court. He said he received bad advice from his lawyer and would’ve pursued an appeal relating to him entering a guilty plea.

Two years later in September, Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera Salango ruled that Clark did not challenge the voluntariness of his plea and ultimately entered an order denying Clark’s motion for resentencing and appointment of appellate counsel.

The justices ended up reversing the order from Salango that denied Clark’s motion for resentencing after Clark’s claim that the circuit court was infringing on his constitutional rights by denying a resentencing.

An evidentiary hearing will now be held in the case. The Supreme Court said Clark should be resentenced and appointed appellate counsel if Judge Salango finds that Clark asked his attorney to file an appeal.