Wives spoke frequently to jailed Clemons

Officials’ wives had maternal relationship with Ricky Clemons.
Sunday, December 14, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:31 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 27, 2008

Ricky Clemons called them his “grandmas.”

In phone conversations taped during Clemons’ 60-day jail sentence for domestic abuse and false imprisonment charges, the former MU point guard received advice and support from Carmento Floyd, wife of UM System President Elson Floyd, and Amy Stewart, wife of Ed Stewart, an MU assistant athletic director.

Clemons talked to at least one, if not both, of the women almost every day while serving the last half of his sentence the past summer.

“You talk to me like you’re my grandma, like I don’t have a clue what to do next,” Clemons said in a phone conversation with Carmento Floyd on July 31. “I understand that you’re looking out for my best interest.”

Last week, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department released taped telephone conversations between Clemons and his friends and family members. The conversations took place between July 16 and Aug. 24, the day Clemons was released.

All phone calls made by inmates are monitored or recorded, as stated in a recording that listening parties hear before the call is connected. Clemons pled guilty to charges of third-degree domestic assault and false imprisonment. Clemons was serving his time in Reality House, a halfway house in Columbia, until July 4, when he was injured while riding an all-terrain vehicle at the Floyds’ home.

He missed curfew that night, violating terms of his sentence, and he was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence at Boone County Jail.

Clemons was kicked off the basketball team. Athletic Director Mike Alden revoked Clemons’ scholarship July 22.

Carmento Floyd and Amy Stewart weren’t the only people who kept in touch with Clemons.

Clemons told Amy Stewart over the phone that Gary Link, an assistant athletic director, wrote him every day. Donna Snyder, basketball coach Quin Snyder’s executive assistant (no relation), wrote him “all the time,” Clemons said.

He also received mail from Snyder, Brian Grawer, a graduate assistant and former MU basketball player, and assistant coach Lane Odom, said on the tapes.

Amy Stewart and Carmento Floyd stood by Clemons. Carmento Floyd also voiced support on behalf of her husband in an Aug. 1 conversation with Clemons.

“We will help you any way we can, you’re not out there by yourself anymore,” Carmento Floyd said. “We are willing to help you; we can make some calls, pull in some favors. We know some presidents across the country. It’s not as though you can’t go somewhere that you want to go.”

Since the release of the tapes, Carmento Floyd issued a statement in which she defended her friendship with Clemons.

“I did so because of my personal concern for him and his future, my professional training and my experiences as a wife and mother,” Carmento Floyd said in the statement.

Carmento Floyd also said in her statement she has experience working with troubled youths in North Carolina.

The Stewarts, Floyds and Clemons could not be reached for comment.

While in Boone County Jail, Clemons made collect calls to the women, who often three-way dialed Clemons’ friends and family for him. Amy Stewart visited Clemons at the jail and told him that Carmento Floyd planned to visit, though it is unclear in the tapes whether she did so. Amy Stewart also bought videos and video games for him.

“You ain’t made enough money this year, my brother, to pay (Stewart) for the time she put in with you,” Carmento Floyd said in an Aug. 2 phone conversation.

According to phone conversations, Amy Stewart and Carmento Floyd helped Clemons find ways to finance his education. The subject came up in a three-way phone conversation July 24 when Amy Stewart told Clemons and another friend, “I told Ricky we’s working on his financial aid.”

Carmento Floyd said in a phone conversation with Amy Stewart and Clemons on Aug. 9 that she was trying to get a $2,500 scholarship for Clemons from an African-American association.

She mentioned the process of getting the application for the scholarship and said, “At least let us fill that out.”

In conversations with friends and relatives, Clemons said he was getting help in paying for his education.

“The president’s wife and all them helping me get money and stuff to go to school for next year,” Clemons said in a July 24 conversation with a man he addressed as “Pop.” The number dialed to reach the man had a North Carolina area code.

He made similar statements in other phone conversations. During an Aug. 1 call to a man Clemons called “Frank,” Clemons said he didn’t know how much school costs.

“They did all that stuff,” he said. Clemons did not clarify who took care of his financial aid.

Amy Stewart said in a July 28 conversation with Clemons that she had his Social Security number memorized because she filled out all the scholarship and financial aid forms for him.

Amy Stewart also discussed with Clemons his personal banking account. He asked her more than once, according to the recorded conversations, to withdraw money for him and buy things he wanted, such as PlayStation video games.

Before Clemons was released from jail, Carmento Floyd talked to her friend about living with Clemons so he would have a place to stay after he served his sentence. Amy Stewart offered him rides to school.

“Carmento has found … if you stay in Missouri and stay in classes, we got you somewhere to stay,” Amy Stewart said in a July 31 conversation with Clemons. “You remember that girl Andrea who was coming in and getting her doctorate? ... Carmento asked her, ‘If Ricky stayed here till December, could he stay with you?’ And she said, ‘Hell yeah, he could help out with rent.’ ... So you wouldn’t have to find an apartment or anything. You could stay with her, and you could go to school, and she would be going back and forth to the school and I’ll be going back and forth to school. So we could get you there.”

Amy Stewart and Carmento Floyd encouraged Clemons, urging him to finish school and questioning him about his comfort in jail, down to the food and the number of blankets on his bed.

On July 28, Amy Stewart promised him, “When you get out we gonna eat, and you need to tell me what you want to eat and what you want to watch, ’cause I know your ass gonna be wanting to watch some TV. We’ll rent some movies and stuff, and you can catch up on what the hell’s been going on.”

Missourian writers Jonathan Rivoli, Mike DeSalvo, Chase Davis, Kelly Snowden, Rebecca Loveridge, Amy Menefee, Chadwick Watters, Mike Connors, Holly Wray, Vanessa LeBlanc and Erica Hunzinger contributed to this report.

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